The Rise Of Medicine And Medical Care

1909 words - 8 pages

The Rise of Medicine and Medical Care
A period of growing interests and a time of “rebirth” known as the Renaissance, led to many discoveries about medicine. This was a time to learn new knowledge and make advances in the medical area. Breakthroughs were happening all throughout this time which soon led to the realization that the heart pumps blood around the body. This was one factor that helped doctors find ways to help the wounded. The dissection of bodies soon came to be very useful for performing surgeries and learning more about how the body works. With new knowledge about the structure of the human body, doctors were able to develop new approaches to the study of physiology and ...view middle of the document...

Soon enough, plants from around the world were being introduced to Europe and were being used in medicines. When the smallpox spread in Europe, the people’s first answer was to give vaccinations to the children, which held a very small dosage of the disease inside of it. Many of the children given the dosage were healthy enough to withstand it. Once their bodies fought off the infection, they never caught it again. This idea was spread around the world but giving the vaccination was a great risk and some people died, so most countries did not use it (Dawson 22-38). These ideas though were the starting points to their later discoveries.
The invention of forceps was used to help mothers deliver their babies. This idea however was kept a secret until 1728. They consisted of two branches that positioned around the baby’s head. Certain forceps had a locking mechanism, and these were used for deliveries where little of no rotation was required when the head was in line with the mother’s pelvis. Forceps that had a sliding lock were used more for deliveries that required more rotation. The blades of the branches were used to actually grasp the baby’s head. It was to firmly grab the head, but not tightly which would harm the baby. Each blade had a particular curve to it, the cephalic and the pelvic curve. The cephalic curve was shaped to fit right around the head of the baby and was rounded depending on the shape. The pelvic curve was shaped to conform to the birth canal and helped direct the force of the traction under the pubic bone. Blades with almost no pelvic curve were the ones used for rotation of the baby’s head (Dawson 23). When forceps were finally brought out to the public, they were mostly used but soon doctors found new ways for giving childbirth.
One major breakthrough of the Renaissance was the ability to dissect cadavers. Dissecting gave doctors the opportunity to gain a much better understanding of the human body itself. This led to throwing away the old techniques used to cure, such as bloodletting that did more harm than good. Doctors were learning more and more about how the body worked by studying it scientifically and making observations. From these dissections, physician Andreas Vesalius made detailed drawings for everything from the muscle structure all the way to the heart. This alone increased the knowledge of anatomy, and helped other physicians to fully understand where the organs were placed in the body and were able to start analyzing their functions. In order for Vesalius to find these discoveries, he started from the work done by a Greek physician named Galen who came way before him.
Galen dissected animals to improve his skills as a surgeon and to learn more about anatomy. During his time, dissecting human bodies was not allowed, so he based all his understanding on animals like pigs and goats. His understandings though were very limited. From this, Vesalius was able to start his work based...

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