Proper handwashing helps
prevent the transmission of
germs and infections. This
discovery began long ago
and included the discovery
Dr. Ignaz P. Semmelweis - 1860
Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis, aged 42 in 1860
a copperplate engraving by Jenő Dopy.
A Hungarian physician, Dr. Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis described as the "savior of mothers", who discovered by 1847 that the incidence of puerperal fever could be drastically cut by the use of hand disinfection (by means of handwashing with chlorinated lime solution) in obstetrical clinics. Puerperal fever (or childbed fever) was common in mid-19th-century hospitals and often fatal, with mortality at 10%–35%.
Source: Wyklicky H, Skopec M. Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis, the prophet of bacteriology. Infection Control : IC, 1983 Sep-Oct;4(5):367-70.
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