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Timelines of the History of Medicine

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  1. Timelines of the History of Medicine December 06, 2010

  2. c. -550 BC • The Indian physician Susruta pioneers plastic surgery of the nose • c. -2000 BCMedicine men in Peru practice trephination, cutting holes in the skulls of brave or foolhardy patients • c. -550 BC • Indian medical theory maintains that the body consists of three humours - spirit, phlegm and bile

  3. c. -400 BC • Hippocrates, on the Greek island of Kos, founds an influential school of medicine • c. -280 BC • The Alexandrian school of medicine develops an alarming form of clinical anatomy – human vivisection • c. -100 BC • The practice of acupuncture is described in Nei Qing, a Chinese medical text

  4. c. 50 • The Roman surgeon Cornelius Celsus describes in De Medicina how to cut stones from a patient's bladder • 158 • A new doctor, Galen, is appointed to look after the gladiators at Pergamum • c. 950 • Medieval Europe's first institute of higher education is established, with the founding of the medical school at Salerno

  5. c. 1000 • The first illustrated manual of surgery is written by Abul Kasim, an Arab physician in Cordoba • c. 1020 • The Persian scholar Avicenna, author of encyclopedic works on philosophy and medicine, spends the last part of his life in Isfahan • 1100 • Conjoined twins Mary and Eliza Chulkhurst are born in Biddenden, in Kent

  6. c. 1489 • Leonardo da Vinci begins an unprecedented series of detailed anatomical drawings, based on corpses dissected in Rome • c. 1500 • European diseases bring death on a massive scale to an American population that has no immunity • 1513 • Eucharius Rösslin publishes the first textbook for midwives, later translated into English as The byrthe of mankynde

  7. 1543 • Flemish anatomist Andreas Vesalius publishes a seven-volume work which for the first time lays bare human anatomy • 1545 • Ambroise Paré, the greatest surgeon of his day, publishes an account of how to treat gunshot wounds • c. 1580 • William Chamberlen invents the obstetrical • Forceps • 1610 • First documented Caesarian section in which mother survives

  8. 1628 • William Harvey publishes a short book, De Motu Cordis, proving the circulation of the blood • 1658 • Samuel Pepys has a two-ounce stone cut from his bladder, in an operation carried out at home in the presence of his family • 1665 • The first recorded attempt at blood transfusion, at the Royal Society in London, proves that the idea is feasible • 1667 • The first successful human blood transfusion is achieved in Paris by Jean Baptiste Denis, apparently saving the life of a 15-year-old boy

  9. 1717 • Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, observing the Turkish practice of inoculation against smallpox, submits her infant son to the treatment • 1752 • English obstetrician William Smellie introduces scientific midwifery as a result of his researches into childbirth • 1761 • Austrian physician Joseph Leopold Auenbrugger describes his new diagnostic technique – percussion, or listening to a patient's chest and tapping

  10. 1775 • Captain Cook publishes his discovery of a preventive cure against scurvy, in the form of a regular ration of lemon juice • 1784 • Benjamin Franklin, irritated at needing two pairs of spectacles, commissions from a lens-grinder the first bifocals • 1785 • William Withering's Account of the Foxglove describes the use of digitalis for dropsy, and its possible application to heart disease

  11. 1796 • In Berkeley, Gloucestershire, Edward Jenner inoculates a boy with cowpox in the pioneering case of vaccination • 1796 • German physician Samuel Hahnemann coins the term 'homeopathy' and describes this new approach to medicine • 1816 • René Laënnec, reluctant to press his ear to the chest of a young female patient, finds a solution in the stethoscope

  12. 1828 • William Burke and William Hare murder 16 victims and sell their bodies to the Edinburgh Medical School for anatomical study • 1832 • The USA suffers the first of several cholera epidemics, spanning the sixty years to 1892

  13. Anesthesia • 1846 • A dentist in Boston, William Morton, uses ether as an anaesthetic while surgeon John Collins Warren removes a tumour in a patient's neck • 1847 • Scottish obstetrician James Simpson uses anaesthetic (ether, and later in the year choloroform) to ease difficulty in childbirth • 1847 • James Young Simpson is the first to deliver a baby (christened Anaesthesia) using chloroform

  14. 1851 • German physicist Hermann von Helmholtz invents the ophthalmoscope, making it possible for a doctor to examine the inside of a patient's eye • 1853 • The hypodermic syringe with a plunger is simultaneously developed in France and in Scotland • 1854 • William Baikie, on an expedition up the Niger, protects his men from malaria by administering quinine

  15. 1854 • English physician John Snow proves that cholera is spread by infected water (from a pump in London's Broad Street) • 1854 • Florence Nightingale, responding to reports of horrors in the Crimea, sets sail with a party of twenty-eight nurses • 1855 • Jamaican-born nurse Mary Seacole sets up her own 'British Hotel' in the Crimea to provide food and nursing for soldiers in need • 1860 • Florence Nightingale opens a training school for nurses in St Thomas's Hospital, establishing nursing as a profession

  16. 1861 • Hungarian physician Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis publishes his discovery that deaths from puerperal fever can be dramatically reduced by a strict hand-washing routine • 1865 • English surgeon Joseph Lister introduces the era of antiseptic surgery, with the use of carbolic acid in the operating theatre • 1875 • An outbreak of measles in Fiji, brought to the islands by British visitors, kills a quarter of the • population

  17. c. 1882 • German bacteriologist Robert Koch announces his discovery of the bacillus that causes tuberculosis • 1885 • Louis Pasteur uses rabies inoculation to save the life of 9-year-old Joseph Meister, bitten by a rabid dog • 1887 • A German physiologist, Adolf Fick, grinds a pair of lenses to fit snugly in contact with a patient's eyeballs • 1897 • British physician Ronald Ross identifies the Anopheles mosquito as the carrier of malaria

  18. 1900 • The Bayer company in Germany sells aspirin in the form of water-soluble tablets, the first medication of its kind • 1900 • Sigmund Freud publishes one of his most significant works, The Interpretation of Dreams • 1900 • The Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov keeps dogs alive almost indefinitely by severely curtailing their bodily functions

  19. 1903 • German surgeon Georg Clemens Perthes discovers, in Leipzig, that X-rays can inhibit cancer • 1903 • Dutch physiologist Willem Einthoven invents the galvanometer, or electrocardiograph, for recording the electrical impulses within the heart muscle • 1904 • Austrian psychologist Sigmund Freud publishes The Psychopathology of Everyday Life

  20. 1906 • German immunologist August von Wasserman develops a diagnostic test to reveal the presence of the syphilis spirochaete in the blood • 1906 • Belgian physiologists Jules Bordet and Octave Gengou identify Bacillus pertussis, the bacterium causing whooping cough • 1906 • A pediatrician in Vienna, Clemens von Pirquet, describes a condition for which he coins the term 'allergy'

  21. 1906 • The German neuropathologist Alois Alzheimer identifies physical symptoms in the brain of a dead woman who had presenile dementia • 1907 • Austrian scientist Clemens von Pirquet discovers a diagnostic test to identify tuberculosis in a patient • 1909 • French biologist Charles Nicolle discovers that epidemic typhus is transmitted by the body louse • 1910 • Chicago cardiologist James Herrick publishes the first account of the cells causing sickle-cell anaemia