Thursday, 13 May 2010

Vienna General Hospital

History of Medicine: Unwitting martyr (Wellcome Trust)
* "Professor of Forensic Medicine at Vienna General Hospital in Austria, Dr Kolletschka died in 1847 after pricking his finger with a knife during an autopsy. With the advent of antibiotics still 100 years away, death was then a commonplace complication of seemingly insignificant wounds."
* "What was remarkable about Dr Kolletschka’s misfortune was its inspiration to a young Hungarian doctor at the hospital – Dr Ignaz Semmelweis. Reading Kolletschka’s post mortem report, Semmelweis was struck by the similarity between his symptoms and those of women dying at an alarming rate of puerperal fever (a form of septicaemia) at the hospital."
* Penny Bailey, Writer, Wellcome Trust.

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