Ignaz Semmelsweis was a Hungarian physician called the “saviour of mothers” who discovered, by 1847, that the incidence of puerperal fever, also known as childbed fever could be drastically cut by use of hand washing standards in obstetrical clinics. While employed as assistant to the professor of the maternity clinic at the Vienna General Hospital in Austria in 1847, Semmelweis introduced hand washing with chlorinated lime solutions for interns who had performed autopsies. This immediately reduced the incidence of fatal puerperal fever from about 10 percent (range 5–30 percent) to about 1–2 percent. At the time, diseases were attributed to many different and unrelated causes. Semmelweis’ hypothesis, that there was only one cause, that all that mattered was cleanliness, was extreme at the time, and was largely ignored, rejected or ridiculed. He was dismissed from the hospital and harassed by the medical community in Vienna, which eventually forced him to move to Budapest. Up to the point of his discovery 1 in 10 otherwise healthy women DIED after HE treated them. 1 in 10!! Since Semmelsweis was in innovator and since Vienna General Hospital was a teaching hopital he worked on cadavers on nearly a daily basis. He would go from working on cadavers to birthing babies WITHOUT washing his hands.
This great Doctor considered every other variable that might be the contributing factor to the demise of his patients but kept coming back to the chilling reality… HE WAS THE PROBLEM. It’s told that there where women that birthed their child in the street to avoid coming in contact with him. Something that was on him got was getting on his patients and eventually killed them. He touched death and transferred it to his healthy patients and it brought death to them. Try as you may to convince yourself to the contrary, we are holistic people. You can’t compartmentalize who you are. What you touch in private affects your public life. Touching death in your private life will bring death in your public life.