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Ignaz Semmelweis
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Doctor
    (July 1, 1818-August 13, 1865)
    Born in Buda (West Budapest) , Hungary
    Died in Vienna at age 47
    Birth name Semmelweis Ignac Fulop (last name first)
    Nicknamed the Savior of Mothers
    Pioneer for hand-washing standards in obstetrics
    At the University of Vienna (1837), he started out studying law but switched the following year.
    It astonished him that large numbers of pregnant women preferred to deliver on the streets, over a primary maternity clinic — until he learned why (a high rate of puerperal fever).
    The Viennese authorities and medical community mocked his claims, forcing him into exile (in his own city!).
    He was committed to a mental institution for his efforts, where he died two weeks later.
    Of his five children, two died within months and one committed suicide at 23.
    Having become so stressed out, he aged rapidly.
    Some hospitals ignore his wisdom, preferring to perform surgery with soiled hands.
    He did not have the evidence-based backing prevalent in present-day hospitals.
    His close friend, a professor of forensics, died in a postmortem of lymphatic vessel and vein inflammation from a contaminated tool (1847).
    Calcium hypochlorite, which he recommended to anyone involved in an autopsy, is sometimes used as an agent for cotton bleaching and swimming pool cleaning.
    One of his two surviving daughters went on to have her own children.
    He was immortalized in a centennial stamp (1965).
    His life story is taught in classes addressing epistemology — theory of knowledge.

Credit: Cool It All Right?


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