History of Health & Medical Milestones
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History of Health & Medical Milestones. The Early Beginnings: Many illness and ailments were treated with plant sources. Digitalis comes from the foxglove plant Quinine comes from the bark of the cinchona tree. Belladonna and Atropine are made from the poisonous nightshade plant .

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The Early Beginnings:

  • Many illness and ailments were treated with plant sources.

  • Digitalis comes from the foxglove plant

  • Quinine comes from the bark of the cinchona tree.

  • Belladonna and Atropine are made from the poisonous nightshade plant.

  • Morphine is made from the opium poppy.

    The Ancient Times:

  • Hippocrates based his knowledge of anatomy and physiology on his observation of the human body. Hippocrates also wrote the standard of ethics; which is still the oath that Physicians take.

  • The Egyptians were the earliest people to keep accurate health records.

  • The Ancient Greeks were the first to study the causes of disease.

  • The Romans learned from the Greeks and developed sanitation systems,

  • and the Romans were the first to organize medical care

The Dark Ages:

  • When the Roman Empire was conquered by the Huns, the study of medical science stopped, and for about 1,000 years medicine was only practiced by convents and monasteries.

  • Epidemic outbreaks of disease caused millions of deaths

    • The Bubonic Plague killed 60 million people

    • Small Pox, Diphtheria, Syphilis, and Tuberculosis were ramped

      The Renaissance Period:

  • The rebirth of learning and the study of medicine were responsible for many new developments.

  • The building of universities and medical schools

  • The acceptance of dissection of the body for the purpose of study

  • The development of the printing press and the publishing of books

The Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries:

  • Several scientists added new knowledge and discoveries.

  • Leonardo da Vinci studied and recorded the human body

  • William Harvey studied physiology and the circulation of blood

  • Gabriele Fallopius discovered the fallopian tubes in the female anatomy

  • Bartolommeo Eustachio discovered the tube leading from the ear to the throat (Eustachian Tube)

  • Antonie van Leeuwenhoek invented the microscope

The Eighteenth Century:

  • Students attended lectures in the classroom and they observed patients at bedside, and when a patient died, they dissected the body to study the cause of death.

  • Rene Laennec invented the stethoscope

  • Joseph Priestley discovered the element of oxygen

  • Edward Jenner discovered a method of vaccination for small pox

  • Benjamin Franklin developed bi-focal glasses, and discovered that colds could be passed from person to person

The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries:

  • The advancement of organized medical science and the development of medical technology began to unfold.

  • IgnazSemmelweis identifies the cause of childhood fever (Puerperal Fever)

  • Louis Pasteur discovered that tiny microorganisms were everywhere

  • Joseph Lister developed antiseptics for surgery

  • Ernst von Bergmann developed Asepsis (sterile surgical procedures)

  • Robert Koch discovered many disease causing organisms

  • William Roentgen discovered X-rays

  • Paul Ehrlich discovered the effect of medicine on disease causing microorganisms

  • Gerhard Domagk discovered sulfonamide compounds

  • DimitriIvanovski discovered that some organisms that caused disease were a virus, and they could not be seen with a microscope

    • Poliomyelitis, Rabies, Measles, Influenza, Chicken Pox, Herpes, Mumps, German Measles

  • Sigmund Freud discovered the conscious and unconscious parts of the mind and developed psychoanalysis

  • Alexander Fleming discovered that penicillin killed bacteria

  • Ernst Chain and Howard Florey develop penicillin and antibiotics

  • Jonas Salk discovered that the dead polio virus would cause immunity to poliomyelitis

  • Albert Sabin used the live polio virus to develop a more effective vaccine against poliomyelitis

  • The process of transplanting organs is further developed

  • The use of computers to diagnose medical conditions

  • The development of noninvasive techniques for surgery

  • The advancement of prenatal care for the fetus

  • The further development of the treatments for Cancers and other chronic diseases

Complementary and Alternative Therapies:

  • Acupressure: pressure applied with the fingers, palms, thumbs, or elbows to

    specific pressure points on the body

  • Acupuncture: the insertion of very thin needles into specific points along

    the meridians in the body to stimulate and balance the flow

    of energy

  • Antioxidants: nutritional therapy that encourages the use of substances that

    prevent or inhibit oxidation and neutralize free radicals in the body

  • Aromatherapy: the use of selected fragrances to alter mood and restore thebody, mind, and spirit

  • Biofeedback: relaxation technique that uses monitoring devices to provide

    information about reaction to stress by showing heart rate, respiration, blood pressure, muscle tension, and skin


  • Herbal Medicine:

    • medicine derived from herbs, plant extracts, roots, stems, seeds,

      flowers, and leaves

  • Hydrotherapy:

    • use of water to massage and soaking in hot springs or tubs to relax the muscle tissue

  • Tai Chi:

    • ancient theory that states health is harmony with nature and

      the universe and a balanced state of yin (cold) and yang (heat)

  • Yoga:

    • Hindu discipline that uses concentration, body positions, andritual movements to maintain the balance and flow of energy

  • 460BC: Birth of Hippocrates; the “Father of Medicine”

  • 129: Birth of Galen; accomplished Roman Medical Researcher

  • 1354: The Black Plague wipes out major populations of Europe

  • 1504: Gabrielle Fallopio invents the Linen Condom

  • 1536: Ambrose Pare develops the Cauterizing Technique

  • 1551: Gabrielle Fallopio discovers the Fallopian Tubes

  • 1590: Zacharias Janssen invents the Compound Microscope

  • 1593: Galileo Galilei invents the Water Thermometer

  • 1596: Sir John Harrington invents the 1st Water Closet or Toilet

  • 1608: Thomas Lippershey invents the Refracting Telescope

  • 1625: Jean-Babtiste Denys invents the process of Blood Transfusion

  • 1628: William Harvey discovers the Circulation of Blood in the Body

  • 1663: James Gregory invents the Reflecting Telescope

  • 1683: Antony van Leeuwenhoek discovers Bacteria

  • 1687: Sir Isaac Newton discovers the “Law of Gravity”

  • 1714: Gabriel Fahrenheit invents the Mercury Thermometer

  • 1728: Pierre Fauchard invents the 1st Dental Drill

  • 1742: Anders Celsius develops the “Celsius Scale”

  • 1752: Benjamin Franklin invents the Lightening Rod

  • 1753: James Lind discovers the cure for Scurvy

  • 1761: Giovanni Morgagni performs the 1st Autopsy

  • 1775: Alexander Cummings invents the 1st Flush Toilet

  • 1784: Benjamin Franklin invents Bifocal Glasses

  • 1792:Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Shop opens in Alexandria, Virginia

  • 1798: Edward Jenner discovers the Small Pox Vaccine

  • 1805: Oliver Evans invents the Refrigerator

  • 1816: Rene Laennec invents the Stethoscope

  • 1818: James Blundell performs the 1st Blood Transfusion

  • 1829: Louis Braille develops the “Braaille System” for the Blind

  • 1832: Thomas Hodgkin identifies abnormal cells in the Lymphatic System as Cancer

  • 1842: Crawford Long uses Anesthesia to surgically remove a Tumor

  • 1844: Horace Wells uses Nitrous Oxide as an Anesthetic for Dentistry

  • 1846: William Morton performs the 1st operation using Ether for Anesthetic

  • 1847:IgnazSemmelweis identifies Hand Washing to prevent disease transmission

  • 1849: Elizabeth Blackwell is the first woman to earn a Medical Degree

  • 1851: Hermann von Helmholtz invents the Ophthalmoscope

  • 1853: Alexander Wood & Gabriel Pravaz invent the Hypodermic Syringe

  • 1854: John Snow discovers the Cholera Bacteria

    Florence Nightingale initiates nursing in hospitals

  • 1857: Joseph Cayetty invents Toilet Paper

  • 1860: Etienne-Jules Marey invents the Sphygmomanometer for Blood Pressure

  • 1864: Louis Pasteur invents Pasteurization

    Henri Dunant initiates the development of the “Red Cross”

  • 1865: Joseph Lister develops the “Antiseptic System”

  • 1866: Johann Gregor Mendel discovers Human Genes

  • 1867: Wilhelm Waldeyer identifies abnormal cells as Cancer

  • 1867: Henri Nestle invents Baby Formula

  • 1868: Jean Martin Charcot discovers Multiple Sclerosis

  • 1876: Robert Koch discovers the Anthrax Bacteria

  • 1878: Robert Koch discovers the Tuberculosis Bacteria

  • 1880: British Perforated Paper Company introduces the Roll of Toilet Paper

  • 1881: Clara Barton initiates the American Red Cross

  • 1885: Carl Koller introduces the Local Anesthetic

  • 1889: William Stewart Halsted develops Rubber Gloves for Surgery

  • 1890: Emil Adolph von Behring develops the Diphtheria Vaccine

  • 1892: Elie Metchnikoff discovers White Blood Cells

    DimitriIvanotski discovers Viruses

  • 1895: Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen discovers the X-Ray

  • 1896: Paul Ehrlich develops Chemotherapy

  • 1897: Ronald Ross proves that Malaria was spread by Mosquitoes

  • 1898: August Bier develops the Spinal Anesthetic

  • 1898:Almroth Wright develops the Typhoid Vaccine

  • 1899: Felix Hoffman and Heinrich Dreser discover Aspirin

  • 1900: Walter Reed proves that Yellow Fever is spread by Mosquitoes

  • 1901: Karl Landsteiner discovers and names the Four Blood Groups; A, B, O, AB

  • 1902: Sir William MaddockBayliss discovers Hormones

  • 1903: Willem Einthoven invents the Electrocardiograph

  • 1905: Albert Einstein develops the “Theory of Relativity”

  • 1906: Eduard Zirm performs the 1st Successful Cornea Transplant

  • 1910: Paul Erich discovers the cure for Syphilis

    Marie Curie isolates Radium

  • 1912:Casimir Funk develops the Vitamin

  • 1914: John Abel develops the Kidney Dialysis Machine

  • 1917: Sigmund Freud develops Psychoanalysis

  • 1918: Marie Stopes invents the Rubber Cap Diaphragm

  • 1921: Earle Dickson invents the Band-Aid for Johnson & Johnson

  • 1921: Frederick Banting and Charles Best develop Insulin for Diabetics

  • 1924: Hans Berger develops the Electroencephalogram (EEG)

  • 1928: Alexander Fleming discovers Penicillin

  • 1929: Philip Drinker develops the “Iron Lung Machine” for Polio patients

  • 1931: Ernest Ruska invents the Electron Microscope

  • 1932: William Kouwenhouen develops the first Cardiac Defibrillator

  • 1932: Gerhard Domagk discovers Sulfonamidochrysoidine (Prontosil)

  • 1937: Bernard Fantus starts the first Blood Bank at Cook County Hospital in Chicago

  • 1941: George Papanicolaou develops the “Pap Test” for Cervical Cancer

  • 1943: William Kolff develops the first Kidney Dialysis Machine

  • 1944: Alfred Blalock performs the first Open Heart Surgery

  • 1945: Ernst Chain and Howard Florey develop Penicillin

  • 1950: Gregory Pincus discovers the Birth Control Pill

    Marion Donovan invents the Disposable Diaper

  • 1952: Paul Zoll develops the first Cardiac Pacemaker

    Jonus Salk develops the first Polio Vaccine

  • 1953: James Watson and Francis Crick discover the structure of the DNA Molecule

  • 1954: Joseph Murray performs the first Kidney Transplant

  • 1955: Jonus Salk develops the Polio Vaccine for ALL Three Strains

  • 1963: John Enders develops the Measles Vaccine

  • 1965: Frank Pantridge develops the first Portable Defibrillator

  • 1967: Christian Bernard performs the first Heart Transplant

  • 1968: GoedfryHoundsfield develops the CAT Scan

  • 1973: Henry Heimlich develops the “Heimlich Maneuver” for Choking

  • 1974:ChohHao Li discovers Endorphins in the Brain

  • 1980: Raymond Damadian builds first commercial MRI scanner

  • 1981: Baruch Blumberg and Irving Millman develop the Hepatitis B Vaccine

  • 1982: William DeVines implants the first Artificial Heart (Jarvik-7)

  • 1983: Don Francis and the CDC discover that AIDS is in Blood

    Luc Montaginar & the Pasteur Institute identify HIV; the virus that causes AIDS

  • 1985: Robert Gallo and the NIH develop the first test to diagnose HIV/AIDS

  • 1987: Ben Carson, and a 70-member medical team are the first to Separate Occipital Craniopagus Twins.

  • 1989: Henry Erlich discovers DNA Identification

  • 1990: David Ho develops Protease Inhibitors “AIDS Cocktails” for AIDS Treatment

  • 1997: Ian Wilmut clones the first animal from a human cell; Dolly the Sheep

  • 2005: Jean-Michel Dubernard performs the first Partial Face Transplant

  • 2006: Ian Frazer develops the HPV Vaccine

  • 2008: Laurent Lantieri performs the first Full Face Transplant

    Robert Lanza develops Artificial Stem Cells