What Was Ignaz Semmelweis Famous For?


1 Answers

Kath Senior Profile
Kath Senior answered
Ignaz Semmelweis was a Hungarian physician who lived in the early 1800s. He worked in a hospital on a ward that housed women having babies. He noticed that there were two separate wards – one in which women were looked after by midwives and another that was used to teach new doctors and so was run by male doctors who were teaching them.

He found it remarkable that the women in the teaching ward often died of infection, as did their babies whereas the women in the ward run by midwives died of infection only rarely.

He was laughed at and ridiculed but he worked out that the male doctors, in demonstrating to their students, examined the women, one after another, without washing their hands. In contrast, the female midwives took great care with cleanliness. He was the first doctor to suggest that infection could be passed from person to person in this way.

Answer Question