Chapter 01
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Chapter 01. History and Trends of Health Care. 1:1 History of Health Care. Some treatment methods used today are from ancient times Herbs utilized in the past for both food and medicine are found in medications today. Ancient Times.

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Chapter 01

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Chapter 01

History and Trends of Health Care

1:1 History of Health Care

  • Some treatment methods used today are from ancient times

  • Herbs utilized in the past for both food and medicine are found in medications today

Ancient Times

  • Illness &disease were believed to be caused by evil spirits & demons or punishment from gods, trepanation

  • Limited knowledge, religion did not allow human dissections only animals

  • ancient Egyptians - Earliest to keep accurate health records, Priests were the doctors & could read the medical knowledge from the god Thoth


  • Eye of Horus

    • 5000 years ago

    • Magic eye

    • amulet to guard against disease, suffering, and evil

    • History: Horus lost vision in attack by Seth; mother (Isis) called on Thoth for help; eye restored

    • Evolved into modern day Rx sign

Jewish Medicine

  • Avoided medical practice

  • Concentrated on health rules concerning food, cleanliness, and quarantine

  • Moses: pre-Hippocratic medical practice

    • banned quackery (God was the only physician)

    • enforced Day of Rest (According to the Bible, God rested on the seventh day of creation).

Greek Medicine

  • First to study causes of diseases

  • Research helped eliminate superstitions

  • Sanitary practices were associated with the spread of disease

Greek Medicine

  • Hippocrates

    • no dissection, only observations

    • Developed an organized method to observe the human body

    • took careful notes of signs/symptoms of many diseases

    • disease was not caused by supernatural forces

  • Father of Medicine

    • wrote standards of ethics which is the basis for today’s medical ethics

Greek Medicine

  • Aesculapius

    • staff and serpent symbol of medicine

    • temples built in his honor because the first true clinics and hospitals

Ancient Times(continued)

  • Chinese believed in the need to cure the spirit and nourish the body

Ancient Times (continued)

  • Romans implemented use of sewers for waste and aqueducts (waterways) for clean water

  • In ancient times causes of disease had not been

  • discovered and many illnesses were fatal

  • Average life span of 20 to 35 years

The Dark Ages and Middle Ages

  • Interest in the medical practices of Greeks and Romans

  • In the 1300s an epidemic of bubonic plague (Black death) killed nearly 75% of the population of Europe and Asia

  • Average life span of 20 to 35 years

The Renaissance

  • Rebirth of the science of medicine

  • Human dissection to view body organs

  • Printing press allowed

  • publication of medical books

  • Causes of disease were still a mystery

  • Average life span of 30 to 40 years

The 16th, 17th, and 18th Centuries

  • Knowledge of human

  • body greatly increased

  • Invention of microscope

  • Apothecaries (early

    pharmacists) made, prescribed,

    and & sold medications

  • Smallpox vaccine discovered

  • Average life span of 40 to 50 years

The 19th Century

  • Industrial Revolution

    • Development of machines

    • Major progress in medical science

  • Invention of stethoscope, nurse training programs

  • Infection control

  • Average life span of 40 to 65 years

The 20th Century

  • The most rapid growth in health care

  • X-rays, medicines, and vaccines to prevent disease developed

  • The structure of DNA and research in gene therapy (ongoing today)

  • Health care plans

The 20th Century (continued)

  • First open-heart surgery in 1950s

  • Computer technology in every aspect of health care

  • Unlimited possibilities for medical science in the future

  • Average life span of 60 to 80 years

The 21st Century

  • No Scar surgery using own body openings in 2008

  • WHO declared a pandemic of the H1N1 virus (Swine Flu) in 2009

  • Coiling to treat brain aneurysm without brain surgery in 2011

  • Patient Protection & Affordability Act was signed into law in March 2010, fully enforced in 2014

The 21st Century

  • Human Genome Project

  • Embryonic stem cell and cloned cell research

  • Threat of bioterrorism with

    the use of biologic agents as weapons

  • Viruses that can cause pandemics


  • Human Genome Project - designed to identify all the genes in human DNA. This website also contains articles about genetic diseases, testing, and counseling.

  • National Library of Medicine - contains hundreds of & documents related to the history of medicine.

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