By Lois N. Magner
Stressing significant subject matters within the heritage of drugs, this moment version explores the occasions, methodologies, and theories that formed clinical practices in a long time previous and in smooth medical perform. It highlights practices of civilizations around the globe and learn of pioneering scientists and physicians who contributed to our present knowing of well-being and disorder. New sections conceal preventive and substitute medication, clinical schooling for ladies, miasma and contagion theories, the specter of epidemic illness, altering styles of morbidity and mortality, public overall healthiness and sanitary reforms, the excessive price of remedy, illnesses of affluence and getting older, and the emergence of latest ailments.
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Extra resources for A History of Medicine, Second Edition
Many threats to health were avoidable, intermittent, or random, but intestinal decay was a constant and inescapable danger. Obviously, food was needed to sustain life, but as it passed through the intestinal tract it was subject to the same putrid processes that could be observed in rotting foods, wounds, and unembalmed corpses. If the products of Chapter 2.
Probing or lancing might help in the case of an abscess, but if poorly done such interventions could cause blindness. Presumably eye surgery was only twice as difﬁcult as setting a broken bone, or healing a sprain, because the fee for such services was ﬁve shekels of silver for a seignior, three for a commoner, and two for a slave. The veterinarian, also called the ‘‘doctor of an ox or an ass,’’ carried out various surgical operations, including castration of domesticated animals. Women served as midwives, surgeons, and even palace physicians in Mesopotamia, but the Code of Hammurabi does not speciﬁcally mention female doctors.
To combat bleeding, traditional surgeons used tourniquets or cauterization or simply packed the wound with absorbent materials and covered it with bandages. Masai surgeons, however, repaired torn blood vessels with suture thread made from tendons. Wound dressings often contained noxious materials, such as cow dung and powdered insects, as well as ingredients that might function as astringents and antiseptics. Traditional wound dressings might contain pharmacologically valuable ingredients, such as ergot, which is present in rye smut, but symbolic values are likely to predominate.
A History of Medicine, Second Edition by Lois N. Magner