On This Day: August 16, 1896

Klondike Fever

Advertisements

Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis 


In 19th-century Europe, many women died of childbed fever. It was common practice for doctors to deliver babies right after performing autopsies, without first sterilizing their hands. Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis introduced hand washing into medical practice, the result being mortality rates went from over 18% to under 1%.