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The Doctors' Plague:
Germs, Childbed Fever, and the Strange Story of Ignac Semmelweis (Great Discoveries)

by Sherwin B. Nuland

ISBN 039332625X / 9780393326253 / 0-393-32625-X
Publisher W. W. Norton & Company
Language English
Edition Softcover
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Book summary

"Riveting" (Houston Chronicle), "captivating" (Discover), and "compulsively readable" (San Francisco Chronicle).

Surgeon, scholar, best-selling author, Sherwin B. Nuland tells the strange story of Ignác Semmelweis with urgency and the insight gained from his own studies and clinical experience. Ignác Semmelweis is remembered for the now-commonplace notion that doctors must wash their hands before examining patients. In mid-nineteenth-century Vienna, however, this was a subversive idea. With deaths from childbed fever exploding, Semmelweis discovered that doctors themselves were spreading the disease. While his simple reforms worked immediatelychildbed fever in Vienna all but disappearedthey brought down upon Semmelweis the wrath of the establishment, and led to his tragic end. [via]