It's the mid-nineteenth century. As long as there have been hospitals, the joy that women have felt having just given birth in a hospital may be quickly marred by their sudden death due to ...
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It's the mid-nineteenth century. As long as there have been hospitals, the joy that women have felt having just given birth in a hospital may be quickly marred by their sudden death due to what is known as childbed fever (also known as puerperal infections, any bacterial infection of the female reproductive tract following childbirth or miscarriage). Dr. Semmelweis eventually discovered the reason for the illness was mere sanitation, and the need for doctors to wash their hands after each procedure. Coming to this realization and convincing the world, especially the established medical community, are two different things. Dr. Semmelweis, who published a book on the subject, may not have gotten the recognition for this discovery during his lifetime as he tried to make his findings known and accepted, but that word would eventually spread to be commonplace and taken for granted as truth today. Written by
Oscar winning short from director Fred Zinnemann (High Noon) tells the rather amazing story of Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis, a physician who came up with a cure for Childbed Fever, which was a disease that would kill mothers soon after they gave birth. What was his amazing cure? To make doctors wash their hands before treating a patient. Semmelweis drove himself to an asylum trying to get his message of clean hands across but he wouldn't be held high until years after his death. Even though Zinnemann was young into his career here he shows signs that would turn up in later films like From Here to Eternity.
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