Monday, July 12, 2010

Save Two-Thirds

I'm under deadline, so I've been away (I apologize).

Found this during research, though, and had to share.

Can you imagine what being a doctor was like when the possibility of saving two-thirds of your patients was the best, most exciting thing an advertisement could say about its medicine?

So basically, you knew you would always lose a third of the people you saw, and probably more like half.

1 comment:

  1. Greetings Susanne, Ray Tripp here.
    I love it when I [or someone else] finds a tidbit like the one you posted above- it helps with putting history in some sort of perspective, especially when I've encountered folk who are so wrapped up in the present that they have no idea of the sometimes painful steps it took to get to where we are today.
    I don't believe you ever met my Mother, who has only one arm since she lost the other one in an accident back in 1963. At the time, the doctors tried the radical new procedure of attempting to re-attach the limb and, if gangreene hadn't set in, she would have been the second person in human history to have had a limb re-attached. [the first was a 12 year old boy who lost an arm to a lawnmower six months earlier.] This was a time before laser scalples, micro waldos, fiber optic cameras, and the vast array of fancy drugs that make such procedures fairly "standard" in most hospitals today.
    I have a cousin who was an OB/GYN, and collected antique medical tools from the 19th and early 20th century. Some of them were frightening [especially after he described the procedures they were used for], and women today should definately count their blessings.
    On the flip side, check out the medical tools found in Pompey and Herculanium- in a lot of cases, they're almost identical to their modern counterparts. From what Historians can discover the procedures they were for were quite simular to the modern ones with fairly high survival rates as evidenced by Gladiator and other grave finds.
    Finally, did you notice that Colds and Pneumonia are listed under a "Bacterial Vaccine" advert ? I would guess this advert was from the late "Teens", or 1920's- before the concept of viral infections was understood.
    Keep up the good work on keeping things in perspective ! ;-}
    All the Best !