Click onto the Google homepage today and you will find an animated video showcasing the right way to wash your hands.
As the coronavirus pandemic continues to sweep across the world, Google Doodle is honouring the man who first discovered the medical benefits of hand washing.
Hungarian physician Ignaz Semmelweis was born on July 1, 1818 and went on to obtain a doctorate from the University of Vienna and master’s degree in midwifery.
He demonstrated the importance of clean ands on March 20, 1847.
This was when was appointed chief president in the maternity clinic of the Vienna General Hospital.
Dr Semmelweis had it as a requirement that all physicians should disinfect their hands with a solution of chlorinated lime.
The reason he had implemented this life-saving requirement was because mothers were dying at high rates of an infection referred to as childbed fever”.
He realised this was because doctors carrying infectious diseases on their hands were transferring it to the new mothers.
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The physician observed that the death rate in the hospital’s first clinic, where student doctors were being trained, was two to three times higher than in the second clinic, where they were training midwives.
His theory was that the students were carrying something and giving it to the patients.
Many of the physicians were handling corpses during autopsies before attending to pregnant women.
He determined that hand washing was essential to prevent them from passing on an illness.
After the physician initiated a mandatory hand washing policy, the morality rate fell from 18% to just 2%.
It wasn’t until after the death of the physician in 1865 when hand washing was validated by other medical professionals.
Decades later, his hygienic recommendations were validated by the widespread acceptance of the “germ theory of disease.”
- Google Doodle
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