Events in Medicine and Health
Page last modified 22/1/2021
Vaccines and antibiotics,
Smoking – see Morals and Fashion
For advances in cloning, see Science and Technology.
Bovine Spingiform Encelopathy and CJD– see Farming
Dentistry, see Appendix 1
Heart and Blood Circulation, see Appendix 2
Kidneys and bladder, see Appendix 2a
Reproduction, STDs and Childbirth – see Appendix 3
Thalidomide – see Appendix 3a
AIDS, see Appendix i
Cholera, see Appendix ii
Diabetes and Insulin, see Appendix iii
Influenza and other respiratory inc. Covid-19, see Appendix iv
Malaria, see Appendix v
Measles, see appendix
Mental illness, see Appendix vi
Polio, see Appendix vii
Smallpox, see Appendix viii
National Health Service (UK), see Appendix a
Hospitals, see Appendix b.
Anaesthetics, see Appendix c
15/5/2019, The number of Ebola cases in the north-east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo now exceeded 1,600 since the current outbreak began in August 2018. In April 2018 the rate of new cases suddenly accelerated from around 30 to around 100 per week,
2/2/2016, The World Health Organisation declared Zika to be a global emergency, on a par with Ebola, as Brazil mobilised 220,000 troops to fight the disease, spraying against mosquitoes and checking for stagnant water where the mosquito might breed. However the Rio carnival went ahead and Brazil said it would not cancel the Olympics. Cases of microcephaly, which first appeared in Polynesia in 2014, rose in Brazil to 3,700 since October 2015, compared with fewer than 200 in 2014. An estimated 1.5 million Brazilians now carry the Zika virus, which usually causes very little illness in adults, so they may be unaware of any risk to their unborn baby.
27/1/2016 , Concerns grew about the Zika virus, which if contracted by pregnant women could cause the baby to have microcephalus. The virus is spread by mosquitoes and may affect all the Americas except Canada and Chile, also much of Africa and southern Asia.
29/12/2015, For the first time since March 2014, Guinea was declared free from Ebola virus transmissions by the World Health Organization.
26/7/2015, Ebola continued in Guinea and Sierra Leone, albeit at much lower levels than the peak of the late-2014 outbreak. The Lancet reported on a vaccine with a 1005 success rate, as total cases from February 2014 now stood at: Guinea, 3,786 cases, 2,520 deaths; Liberia, 10,672 cases, 4,808 deaths; Sierra Leone, 13,290 cases, 3,951 deaths. There had also been 1 case in Italy, 8 cases and 6 deaths in Mali, 20 cases and 8 deaths in Nigeria, 1 case in Senegal, 1 case in Spain, 1 case in the UK, and 4 cases, 1 death in the USA.
21/1/2015, Confirmed Ebola cases in Guinea reached 2,806 cases with 1,814 deaths. In Liberia cases eached 8,331 cases with 3,538 deaths. In Sierra Leone cases reached 10,124, with 3,062 deaths.
9/1/2015, Confirmed Ebola cases in Sierra Leone reached 7,718, with early 3,000 deaths. However the epidemic seemed to be abating, with many areas free of new cases for over a month.
22/10/2014, Total Ebola cases now stood at 9,936, with 4,877 deaths. Mali reported its first case.
18/10/2014, The total Ebola toll was as follows. Guinea, 1,519 cases, 7788 deaths. Liberia, 4,076 cases, 2,316 deaths. Nigeria, 20 cases, 8 deaths. Senegal, 1 case, 0 deaths. Sierra Leone, 3,410 cases, 1,200 deaths. Overall total, 9,191 cases, 4,546 deaths.
11/10/2014, The number of Ebola deaths in West Africa passed 4,000.
26/9/2014, The total Ebola toll was as follows. Democratic Republic of Congo, 70 cases, 42 deaths. Guinea, 1,074 cases, 648 deaths. Liberia, 3,458 cases, 1,830 deaths. Nigeria, 20 cases, 8 deaths. Senegal, 1 case, 0 deaths. Sierra Leone, 2,021 cases, 605 deaths.
20/9/2014, The total Ebola toll was as follows. Guinea, 1,008 cases, 632 deaths. Liberia, 3,022 cases, 1,578 deaths. Nigeria, 20 cases, 8 deaths. Senegal, 1 case, 0 deaths. Sierra Leone, 1,813 cases, 593 deaths.
31/7/2014, The number of fatalities in the Ebola outbreak in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia passed 1,200; cases were also reported in Nigeria.
12/12/2005, Scientists announced they had created mice with small amounts of human brain cells, to study neurological disorders.
30/11/2005, Surgeons in France carried out the first human face transplant.
28/7/2004, Francis Crick, co-discoverer of DNA, died aged 88.
5/7/2003, The WHO declared SARS to be ‘contained’
25/10/2000. Britain’s oldest man, Bill Lee, died. He attributed his longevity to a dram of whisky every night, and died peacefully in his sleep aged 108. He was born on 13/1/1892 in Stoke on Trent. He was shot in the arm and blinded in one eye whilst serving as a sapper in France during World War One, and was awarded the Cross of the Legion of Honour by the French Government for his services in war. Afterwards, Mr Lee returned home to manage a Milletts store in Hanley, Stoke, until he retired at the age of 72. He spent is later years in a residential home. He left a brother and sister, four grandchildren, ten great grandchildren, and two great-great grandsons. He was recognised as Britain’s oldest man by the Guinness Book of Records in August 2000.
26/6/2000. British and American scientists announced they had succeeded in decoding the 3 billion pairs of human DNA.
13/8/1998, UK authorities warned of a rat invasion, saying there were 750,000 rat-infested homes in Britain.
2/7/1997. The British Medical Association announced that drugs derived from cannabis were to be made legally available for cancer patients and others suffering from debilitating diseases.
1/7/1996, The Northern Territory in Australia legalised voluntary euthanasia.
18/2/1996. The World Health Organisation sent experts to Gabon where ten people had died of the Ebola virus.
1993, US medical costs (public and private combined) amounted to 13.0% of national income. This compared to 9.1% in 1980 and 7.3$ in 1970.
23/4/1993. The World Health Organisation declared tuberculosis a global emergency, saying TB could kill 30 million people by 2003.
8/5/1991. UK scientists discovered the gene that determines sex.
22/3/1988, In Australia, doctors turned off the life support system of a terminally ill female patient for the first time.
30/9/1987, At the University of Pennsylvania Hospital, Susan Lazarchick had the first successful transplant of the body’s most complex joint, the knee.
7/9/1987, The world’s first conference on artificial life began, at Los Alamos National Laboratories, USA.
17/12/1986, Mrs Davina Thompson made medical history at Papworth Hospital, Cambridge, UK, when she was given a new heart, lungs, and liver.
22/9/1986, At Harefield Hospital, Middlesex, a 2 ½ month old baby became the youngest heart and lung transplant patient.
21/2/1986, Shigechiyo Izumi, the world’s oldest man, died in Japan aged 120.
25/10/1984. The hepatitis virus was identified.
16/10/1982, Hans Hugo Selye, Austrian endocrinologist who pioneered studies on stress, died.
5/8/1982, John Charnley, British orthopaedic surgeon, died aged 70.
7/3/1982, Margulies Lazar, US physician, died.
1981, Onco-genes (cancer genes) were discovered by US research teams. They do not directly cause cancer but become carcinogenic when affected by viruses, ionising radiation or carcinogenic chemicals.
31/3/1978, Charles Herbert Best, Canadian-US physiologist, died in Toronto, Ontario.
1977, The first prototype Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machine was built by Raymond Damadian. See also Atomic Power and Electricity.
4/8/1977, Edgar Douglas Baron, English physiologist, died in London.
3/6/1977, Archibald Vivian Hill, English physiologist, died in Cambroidge.
1976, Endorphins first discovered.
4/8/1976, First recorded cases of Legionnaires Disease, at an American Legion convention in Philadelphia, killed 29 people. Scientists isolated the previously unknown bacteria that caused this disease on 18/1/1977.
1/2/1976, Gene Hoyt Whipple, US physician, died in Rochester, New York, USA.
25/1/1972, In London, the National Organ Matching And Distribution Service (NOMDS) was established.
1971, The diamond-bladed scalpel was invented by the Microsurgical Instrumentation Research Association. It greatly improved eye surgery.
10/10/1971, Sir Cyril Lodowic Burt, English psychologist, died in London.
1/10/1971, The first CT scan was performed, on a patient’s brain, at the Atkinson Morley Hospital in Wimbledon, London,
25/7/1971. The first heart and lung transplant was performed.
1970, In Germany, the first successful nerve transplant took place.
8/12/1970, Philip Edward Smith, endocrinologist, died in Florence, Massachusetts.
21/2/1968, Lord Florey, Australian-born British pathologist who made possible the large-scale production of penicillin, died.
6/1967, Gustave NJ Nossal proposed that antibodies work by recognising the size and shape of the antigen.
11/6/1967, Wolfgang Kohler, Russian-German-US psychologist, died in Enfield, New Hampshire, USA.
5/12/1965, Joseph Erlanger, US physiologist, died in St Louis, Missouri.
24/4/1964, Gerhard Domagk, German pathologist (born 30/10/1895 in Brandenburg) died in Burgberg.
18/4/1963, The first human nerve transplant was carried out by Dr James Campbell at New York University Medical Centre.
1962, English orthopaedic surgeon John Charnley discovered a low-friction high-density polythene suitable for artificial joints,
1962, Lasesrs were used in eye surgery for the first time.
10/12/1962, Crick and Watson received the Nobel prize for their work on DNA.
6/5/1958, Olivier Hélénon, French radiologist, was born
1957, Interferron was discovered by Alick Isaacs and Jean Lindemann.
11/3/1957, The World Health Information published the first indications that radiation may have genetic effects.
13/12/1955, Antonio Caetano de Abreu Moniz, Portuguese surgeon, died in Lisbon.
11/3/1955, Sir Alexander Fleming, discoverer of penicillin in 1928 and Nobel prize-winner in 1945, died.
1/12/1952, George Jorgensen Jr of the USA became the first person to have gender reassignment surgery, becoming Christine Jorgensen.
25/2/1950, George Richards Minot, US physician, was born in Brookline, Massachusetts.
1949, Cobalt-60 was first used to treat cancer, at the Ohio State University.
5/10/1949, Major Greenwood (born 9/8/1880) English epidemiologist and medical statistician, died.
7/4/1948. The World Health Organisation was set up with its headquarters in Geneva. Its aim was to attain the highest possible level of health for all peoples.
1947, Sidney Farber (1903-73) founded the Children’s Cancer Research Foundation at Boston’s Children’s Hospital. He observed that folic acid (one of the B vitamins) could increase the number of abnormal white cells in children with acute leukemia. If these children were given a drug that reduced the effects of folic acid, the abnormal cells decreased. The idea that drugs could counteract cancer, or chemotherapy, was developed from this finding.
3/4/1947. In the UK, the private medical company BUPA was founded.
22/2/1946, Dr Selman Abrahams announced the discovery of streptomycin, an antibiotic for treating tuberculosis.
31/12/1943, Penicillin was finally in common usage in hospitals, its development having been delayed by the War. Its first successful use had been on 13/2/1941. Another ‘wonder drug’, sulphonamide, was also useful against infections.
2/3/1943, Alexandre Yersin, physician, died.
3/5/1941, The first successful treatment by penicillin. A patient was treated for a 4 inch carbuncle, which was cleared and the patient was discharged on 15/5/1941.
21/2/1941, Sir Frederick Banting, Canadian scientist who along with Charles Best discovered insulin in 1921, was killed in an air crash.
13/2/1941, The ‘miracle drug’ penicillin was used on a human for the first time; a policeman from Oxford, UK. However he died on 15/3/1941 because not enough was available. It then took some 2,000 litres of mould culture fluid to produce enough penicillin for a single case of infection. However Florey subsequently discovered another species of mould that produced 1,000 times as much penicillin. See 31/12/1943.
1940, Herbert M Evans used radioactive iodine to prove that iodine is used by the thyroid gland.
1940, Karl Landsteiner and Alexander S Weiner discovered a relationship between human and rhesus monkey blood cells, and discovered the rhesus (Rh) factor.
24/8/1940, The Lancet reported on the first purification of penicillin by professors Howard Florey and Ernest Chain.
1938, Tom D Spies pioneered the treatment of pellagra with niacin.
1938, Englis surgeon Philip Wiles developed the first artificial hip replacement, using stainless steel.
1937, Pharmacologist Daniele Bovet developed the first antihistamine.
3/12/1935, Charles Robert Richet, French physiologist, died in Paris.
1933, Pantothenic acid, one of the vitamin B complex, was isolated from liver.
23/9/1933, Lloyd Old, US immunologist, was born.
31/12/1932, Mildred Scheel, German doctor, was born.
16/9/1932, Sir Ronald Ross, English physician, died in London.
9/1/1929, Fleming treated his assistant Stuart Craddock for an infection by washing it out with a penicillin solution; this cleared the infection.
1928, Dorothy Eustis, from the US, set up a guide dog training centre at Vervey, Switzerland, after habing heard of how a pet Alsatian dog looked after its owner who had been blinded as a soldier in World War One. Following this the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association was set up in Britain in 1934.
12/10/1928. The first iron lung was used at the Boston Children’s Hospital, Massachusetts.
15/9/1928. Alexander Fleming reported the discovery of penicillin.
6/4/1928, In Italy, handshaking was banned as it was deemed unhygienic.
2/5/1927, Ernest Henry Starling, English physiologist, died at sea near Kingston, Jamaica.
12/1/1926. In Paris, the Pasteur Institute announced the discovery of an anti-tetanus vaccine.
14/6/1924, James Black, Scottish pharmacologist, was born (died 2010).
11/2/1924, Jacques Loeb, German-US physiologist, died in Hamilton, Bermuda.
9/9/1923, Daniel Carleton Gajdusek was born in Yonkers, New York, USA. In 1966 he succeeded in transferring kuru, a disease of the central nervous system thought to be spread by cannibalism, to chimpanzees. This was the first time a viral disease of the central nervous system had been transferred from humans to another species.
10/2/1923. William Konrad Von Roentgen, German physicist who discovered X rays in 1895, died.
17/7/1921, Alick Isaacs was born. In 1957, along with Jean Lindenmann, he discovered interferons, chemicals produced by the human body to fight viruses.
23/1/1921, Heinrich Wilhelm Gottfried von Waldemeyer-Hartz, German anatomist, died in Berlin.
1919, In the UK, the Ministry of Health was established by Act of Parliament.
29/12/1919, Sir William Osler, medical teacher, died in Oxford, England.
22/2/1918. The world’s tallest man, Robert Wadlow, was born, weighing 8 ½ lbs. He grew to 8 foot 11 ½ inches in height and weighed 31 stone 5 lbs, when he died in 1940.
27/7/1917, Surgeon Emil Theodor Kocher died.
31/3/1917, Emil von Behring, immunologist (born 15/3/1854 in Hansdorf, Germany), died in Marburg, Germany.
1916, US psychologist Lewis M Terman invented the term IQ for Intelligence Quotient; plastic surgery advanced as a result of war inuries.
25/8/1916, Frederick C Robbins was born in Auburn, Alabama. In 1948, along with John Franklin Enders (born 10/2/1897, West Hartford, Connecticut) and Thomas Huckle Wells (born 15/6/1915, Ann Arbor), he discovered how to grow the mumps virus in chick tissue using penicillin to prevent bacterial contamination.
8/6/1916, Professor Sir Francis Crick, who along with J D Watson discovered DNA, was born.
20/8/1915, Paul Erlich, bacteriologist, dies of a stroke in Bad Homburg, Germany. Born in Strehlen, Silesia (now Poland) on 14/3/1854, he laid the foundations for the use of chemotherapy in treating disease. In 1909 he developed the first compound designed specifically to cure a disease; Salvarsan, for syphilis.
8/1/1914, Doctors at the Middlesex Hospital successfully treated cancer with radium.
1912, Casimir Funck coined the term ‘vitamin(e)’.
10/2/1912. Charles Lister. Lord Joseph Lister, surgeon and discoverer of antiseptics, died aged 84 at Walmer, Kent.
29/8/1911, John Charnley, British surgeon, was born (died 1982)
17/1/1911, Sir Francis Galton, English scientist and writer on eugenics, died aged 88.
26/8/1910, William James, US psychologist, was born in Chocorua, new Hampshire.
13/8/1910. Florence Nightingale, born 12/5/1820, died in London aged 90.
27/5/1910, Robert Koch, German bacteriologist and Nobel Prize Winner who discovered the tuberculosis bacillus, died.
3/5/1910, Howard Taylor Ricketts, US pathologist, died in Mexico City from the typhus he caught whilst researching the disease.
1909, The antibiotic Salvarsan was discovered by Paul Ehrlich. It was very effective against syphilis.
1909, W Johannsen in The Netherlands introduced the term ‘gene’; P T Levene discovered RNA and DNA
16/3/1908. Florence Nightingale, aged 87, was awarded the Freedom of the City of London. Born in 1820 to a middle class family in Derbyshire, she became interested in hygienic care for the sick after visiting a German religious hospital in 1850 which specialised in hygiene and care. In 1854 she was disturbed by terrible reports of the conditions in military hospitals there. She took 37 nurses and arrived at the hospital at Scutari, arriving on 4/11/1854. The military did not at first take her seriously, but her determination won through and she reduced the hospital’s death rate from 42% to just 2%. After the Crimean War she trained nurses in London and worked to improve the care for the sick.
31/1/1908, Karl von Voit, physiologist, was born in Munich, Germany.
1907, Bubonic Plague killed 1.3 million people in India.
1907, C Pirquet developed a method of diagnoising tuberculosis; C Ross Harrison developed a tissue culture technique; Ivan Pavlov in Russia published Conditioned Reflexes.
29/11/1907. Florence Nightingale, aged 87, the ‘Lady with the Lamp’, was presented with the Order of Merit by Edward VII for her work during the Crimean War, see 4/11/1854.
21/5/1907, Sir Joseph Fayrer, English physician, died (born 6/12/1824).
23/3/1907, Daniele Bovet was born in Neuchâtel, Switzerland. In 1936 he discovered the effectiveness of sulphanilamide in treating streptococci.
1906, The term ‘allergy’ was coined by Austrian paediatrician Clemens von Parquet.
4/12/1906, Robert Wallace Wilkins was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee. In 1950 he developed the use of reserpine for the treatment of high blood pressure.
19/9/1906, Ernst Chain was born in Berlin, Germany. Along with Howard Florey (born Adelaide, Australia, 24/9/1908) he developed, in 1940, the use of penicillin as an antiobiotic.
8/4/1906, D Auguste, the first recorded Alzheimer's victim, died (born 1850)
1905, Zirm, in Austria, performed the first cornea transplant.
23/11/1905, Sir John Burdon-Sanderson, physiologist, died (b0rn 21/12/1828).
30/10/1905. Aspirin went on sale in the UK for the first time.
17/2/1905, A typhus outbreak occurred in London’s East End.
13/10/1904, Austrian psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud published his Interpretation of Dreams.
31/7/1903, Alexander Graham Bell’s proposition that radium could be used to treat cancer appeared in the US journal, Science.
14/6/1903, Karl Gegenbaur, German anatomist, died in Heidelberg.
14/4/1903, In New York, the typhus vaccine was discovered by Dr Harry Plotz.
1902, The UK passed an Act providing for the training of midwives, and barring untrained ones from practising. Infant mortality was a major concern at this time in Britain.
10/1/1902, New Zealander Ellen Dougherty became the world's first registered nurse
23/11/1902, Walter Reed, US military surgeon, died in Washington DC.
2/11/1902, Rudolf Albert von Kolliker, Swiss anatomist and physiologist, died in Wurzburg, Bavaria.
5/9/1902, Rudolf Carl Virchow, German pathologist, died in Berlin.
15/11/1901. The first practical hearing aid, the Acousticon, was patented by Miller Reese Hutchinson of New York. Earlier devices such as the ear trumpet were bulky and impractical. Reese;s idea was to have a battery powered device that could be set to the wearer’s own preferences; it converted the desired sounds into electrical impulses that were transmitted to a carbon speaker in the earpiece that turned the electricity back into sound. Unwanted sounds could be filtered out.
1/11/1901. In Chicago, Dr J E Gilman announced an X-Ray treatment for breast cancer.
2/2/1901, Rene Jules Dubos was born in Saint Brice, France. In 1939 he developed antibiotics from soil bacteria that killed other bacteria.
16/10/1900, Sir Henry Acland, English physician (born 23/8/1815) died.
3/9/1900, An outbreak of Bubonic Plague in Glasgow.
6/3/1899, The painkiller Aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) was patented by Felix Hoffman. The active ingredient is derived from willow.
11/12/1898, Sir William Jenner, English physician, died (born 30/1/1815).
24/9/1898, Sir Howard Florey, British pathologist and joint discoverer of penicillin with Sir Ernest Chain, was born in Adelaide, Australia.
2/6/1898, Paul Louis Simond, fighting bubonic plague in India, theorised that fleas transmitted the disease from rats to humans.
7/1/1898, Ernest Hart, medical journalist, died (born 26/1/1835). He raised membership of the British Medical Association from 2,000 to 19,000, and saw the British Medical Journal expand from 20 to 64 pages.
10/10/1897, Felix Hoffman, German chemist, invented the painkiller aspirin.
1896, The first hormone, adrenaline, was discovered by John Jacob, US biochemist.
28/2/1896, Philip Showalter Hench was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In 1948 he discovered that cortisone can be used to treat rheumatoid arthritis.
5/1/1896. The German physicist Wilhelm Roentgen gave the first demonstration of X rays.
1895, Heroin was marketed by Bayer Pharmaceuticals as a cough medicine for children.
8/11/1895. Wilhelm Roentgen discovered X rays, during an experiment at the University of Wurtzburg. He made the first radiograph, or X-ray, of his wife’s hand, on 22/12/1895. In 1896 Emil Grubbe, having noticed the damage that X-ray exposure did to his own skin, experimented with applying rays to cancerous tissie; he treated a woman with breast cancer, but did not publicise the results until several years later.
28/9/1895, The French chemist Louis Pasteur died (see 6/7/1885). He had been born in Dole, France, on 27/12/1822.
27/4/1895, Karl Friedrich Wilhelm Ludwig, German physiologist, was born in Leipzig, Saxony.
1894, The first British sanatorium for the open-air treatment of tuberculosis opened in Edinburgh. Others soon followed in Glasgow, Renfrewshire and Frimley (Surrey). The notion that open clean air could assist in the treatment of tuberculosis had been popular since the late 1800s; the wealthy would take the train to the Alps of the south of France. Wealthy philanthropists funded the British sanatoria, although because tuberculosis was considered a disease of the poor, it attracted less funding than cancer.
6/2/1894, Albert Billroth, surgeon, died (born in Rugen 26/4/1829).
1893, A Japanese scientist, Shibasaburo Kitasako, proved that The Plague was a bacterial disease carried by infected rat fleas.
16/8/1893, Jean Charcot, French physician, died (born 29/11/1825).
22/3/1892, David Agnew, US surgeon died (born 24/11/1818).
19/7/1891, Sir Prescott Hewett, British surgeon, died (born 3/7/1812)
29/1/1890, Sir William Gull, English physician, died (born 31/12/1816).
30/11/1889, Edgar Adrian, English physiologist, was born. He studied the neurons of the nervous system.
24/3/1889, Franciscus Cornelia Donders, Dutch physiologist, died in Utrecht.
22/7/1888, Selman Abraham Waksman, Russian microbiologist whose search for antimicrobial substances in soil led to the discovery of actinomycin and streptomycin, was born.
29/6/1888, The first appendectomy was carried out in the UK, at the London Hospital by Professor Frederick Treves.
27/4/1887, The first appendix operation, for removing an infected appendix, was carried out by George Thomas Morton on a 26-year-old man with acute appendicitis, in Philadelphia, USA.
21/1/1887, Wolfgang Kohler, psychologist, was born in Revel, Estonia. He was one of the founders of the gestalt school.
11/11/1886, Paul Bert, French physiologist, died in Hanoi (born in Auxerre 17/10/1833).
2/3/1886, John Forster, British surgeon, died (born 1823).
6/7/1885, Louis Pasteur, 63, administered his first successful treatment of rabies with anti rabies vaccine made from a weakened rabies virus.
25/11/1884, English surgeon Rickman Godlee undertook the first operation to remove a brain tumour.
21/9/1884, Charles Joules Henri Nicolle was born in Rouen, France. In 1909 he discovered that typhus was spread via the body louse.
20/7/1884, Caesar Hawkins, British surgeon, died (born 19/11/1798).
23/1/1882, Sir Robert Christison, Scottish physician, died (born 18/7/1797).
6/8/1881. Alexander Fleming, the Scottish bacteriologist who discovered penicillin, was born in Scotland. Fleming specialised in bacteriology at St Mary’s Hospital, London. The enormous death toll amongst soldiers suffering from infected wounds left Fleming seeking a chemical that could fight the infection. Whilst clearing up Petri dishes in which he had been growing bacteria, Fleming stumbled on a mouldy dish in which the bacteria had been killed. However it was not until the Second World War that chemists really took an interest in the development of penicillin. Fleming was knighted in 1944 and awarded the Nobel Prize in 1945.
5/5/1881, Louis Pasteur tested his inoculation against anthrax on an ox, cows and sheep.
1880, Louis Pasteur accidentally discovered the technique for inoculation, by injection of a weakened pathogen. He went on holiday, leaving a solution of chicken cholera bacteria, which he did not realise would grow weaker over time. On return he injected chickens with these bacteria; to his surprise they became ill but survived, and then were able to resist full strength bacteria also.
9/7/1880, Paul Broca, French surgeon and anthropologist, died (born 28/6/1824).
5/10/1879, Francis Peyton Rous was born in Baltimore, Maryland. In 1910 he discovered that some animal cancers were caused by viruses.
26/1/1878, Ernst Heinrich, German physiologist, died in Leipzig, Saxony,
25/9/1877, Carl Reinhold Wunderlich, German physician, died in Leipzig, Saxony.
24/6/1877, The St John’s Ambulance brigade was formed, as the Ambulance Association, by the Red Cross.
10/2/1877, Sir William Fergusson, British surgeon, died (born 20/3/1808).
17/9/1875, Guillaume Duchenne, French physician, died (born 17.9/1806).
1874, Armauer Hansen, a Norwegian doctor, discovered the bacteria which causes leprosy. However drug s to treat the disease were only developed in the 1940s.
2/3/1874, Neil Arnott, Scottish physician (born 15/5/1788) died.
20/4/1873, Henry Bence-Jones, English physician, died in London (born in Suffolk, 1814).
19/10/1871, Physiologist Walter Bradford Cannon was born in Prarie du Chien, Wisconsin. He devised the use of bismuth compounds to make soft organs visible on X-rays.
9/10/1869, Otto Erdmann, physician who introduced vaccination into Saxony, died (born 11/4/1804).
28/7/1869, Karl Carus, German physician, died (born 1789).
28/8/1868, Antoine Clot, French physician, died (born 7/11/1793).
29/7/1868, John Elliotson, English physician, died (born 29/10/1791).
15/7/1868, William Thomas Morton, US dentist, died in New York City, New York.
8/12/1867, Jean Pierre Flourens, French physiologist, died.
17/6/1867. Joseph Lister performed a mastectomy on his sister Isabella, using carbolic acid as an antiseptic. It was the first operation under antiseptic conditions.
6/3/1867, John Goodsir, Scottish anatomist, died (born 20/3/1814).
6/11/1865, William Leishman was born in Glasgow, Scotland. In 1900 he discovered that the disease now known as Leishmaniasis is spread by a parasite of sandflies.
13/8/1865, Hungarian physician Ignaz Semmelweis died in Vienna, Austria, of childbed fever, a disease he had tried hard to eliminate.
12/8/1865, British surgeon Joseph Lister, 38, operating at Glasgow Royal Infirmary, pioneered the use of carbolic acid as a disinfectant, aiming to reduce the 50% mortality rate amongst amputees.
21/10/1862, Sir Benjamin Brodie, English surgeon, died (born 1783).
15/12/1860, Physician Neils Finsen was born in the Faroe Islands.
24/6/1860, The training of nurses in Britain started at St Thomas Hospital, London.
15/6/1860, Florence Nightingale started her School for Nurses at St Thomas’s Hospital, London.
12/6/1859, Jacob Bell, pharmaceutical chemist, died (born in London 5/3/1810).
1858, The first edition of the essential medical textbook, Gray’s Anatomy, appeared. It was written by Henry Gray (1827-61), lecturer in anatomy at St George’s Hospital, London. Its 40th edition appeared in 2008.
16/12/1858, Physician Richard Bright died in London, England.
23/11/1858, The General Medical Council held its first meeting in London. It was set up under the Medical Act 1858 to maintain a register of qualified medical parctitioners in the UK, and to regulate the standards of medical education and examinations.
14/8/1858, George Combe, Scottish phrenologist, died (born 21/10/1788)
2/8/1858, Under the Medical Act, UK doctors were now required to be registered.
7/3/1857, Julius Wagner von Jauregg was born in Wels, Austria. In 1927 he was awarded the Nobel prize for his treatment of some forms of paralysis using malaria inoculation to induce the fever.
1855, Addison’s Disease, a degeneration of the endocrine glands, was first recognised by physician Thomas Addison (1793-1860).
4/11/1854, Florence Nightingale arrived at Scutari (Crimean War).
15/3/1854, Emil von Behring, bacteriologist who won the Nobel Prize in 1901 for his work on immunisation aganist diphtheria, was born.
14/3/1854, Paul Erlich, bacteriologist, was born in Strehlen, Silesia (now Poland); died 20/8/1915.
13/9/1853, Bacteriologist Hans Christian Joachim Gram was born in Copenhagen, Denmark. In 1884 he developed a dye that could distinguish between two classes of bacteria, those that took upthe dye and those that didn’t. The groups react differently to antibiotics.
23/9/1852, Surgeon William Halstead was born in New York City. In 1890 he introduced the practice of wearing sterilised rubber gloves during surgery.
12/3/1851, Bacteriologist Charles Chamberland was born in Chilly le Vignoble, France. He improved sterilisation techniques and invented filters to trap bacteria, which led to the discovery of viruses.
2/6/1850, Jesse Boot, British pharmacist, was born in Nottingham.
26/9/1849, Ivan Pavlov, son of a village priest, was born this day near Ryazan, Russia. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1904 for his discovery of conditioned reflexes.
22/6/1848, Sir William Macewen, surgeon, was born.
9/8/1847, Andrew Combe, physiologist, died (born 27/10/1797)
7/5/1847, The American Medical Association was founded.
26/3/1845, The sticking plaster was patented.
14/11/1844, John Abercrombie, Scottish physician (born 10/10/1780) died in Edinburgh.
11/12/1843, Robert Koch, German bacteriologist, was born in Klausthal.
2/7/1843, The originator of homeopathic medicine, Samuel Hanneman, died in Paris aged 88. He believed that diseases could be cured by drugs producing similar symptoms, only in much smaller doses than normal; the ‘law of similars’.
21/6/1843, The Royal College of Surgeons was formed from the original Barber –Surgeon Company.
28/4/1842, Sir Charles Bell, anatomist, died near Worcester (born in Edinburgh 11/1774).
12/2/1841, Sir Astley Cooper, English surgeon, died in London (born 23/8/1768 in Norfolk).
1840, Swiss chemist Charles J Choss demonstrated the need for calcium for proper bone development.
17/11/1838, Francois Broussart, French physician, died (born 17/12/1772).
1837, Leeches were heavily used in medicine. At Bartholomews, London, 96,300 leeches were used during 1837, up from 52,000 in 1822 and 24,700 in 1821. Heavy bleeding was used to induce unconsciousness before an operation such as an amputation, in the absence of anaesthetics.
1836, The first nurses training school in the world was opened in Kaiserwerth, Germany by Pastor Theodore Fiedner and his wife. The Quaker philanthropist Elizabeth Fry visited there and was so impressed she opened the firest nurses training school ln England in London in 1840. Florence Nightingale was trained at the school in Kaiserwerth.
25/8/1836, Christoph Hufeland, German physician,died (born 12/8/1762).
20/7/1836, Physician Sir Thomas Clifford Allbutt was born in Dewsbury, England. In 1866 he developed the clinical thermometer; previously thermometers in medicine took some 20 minutes to determine the patient’s temperature.
8/3/1836, Sir Michael Foster, English physiologist, was born (died 29/1/1907).
17/10/1835, Paul Bert, French physiologist, was born in Auxerre (died in Hanoi 11/11/1886).
8/2/1835, Guillaume Dupuytren, French surgeon, died (born 6/10/1777).
26/6/1834, Sir Gilbert Blane, Scottish physician, died in London (born 29/8/1749).
31/12/1833, During the year 1833, doctors in France imported 41.5 million leeches, actually making it an endangered species.
1832, Britain passed the Anatomy Act. This was an attempt to curb the activities of the ‘resurrection men’, who dug up freshly-buried corpses for dissection in medical schools. The Act provided for the compulsory requisition of the bodies of paupers who died in workhouses, for this purpose. It contributed to the general fear of workhouses.
1832, The British Medical Association was founded. Until 1856 it was known as the Provincial Medical and Surgical Association. It publishes the British Medical Journal.
1832, The water bed was developed by Scottish surgeon Neil Arnott as a means of improving the comfort of his patients.
20/4/1831, John Abernethy, British surgeon (born 3/4/1764 in London) died in Enfield.
1830, Physician Marchall Hall (born Basford, England, 18/2/1790) denounced bloodletting as a treatment for disease.
26/4/1829, Albert Billroth, surgeon, was born in Rugen (died 6/2/1894).
1828, Estonian naturalist Karl Ernst von Baer founded the science of embryology, when he discovered the mammalian ovum.
24/12/1828, The trial of bodysnatcher William Burke began in Edinburgh, see 31/10/1828. The other bodysnatcher, William Hare, had turned King’s Evidence and was not brought to trial. Sentenced to death, Burke was hanged on 28/1/1829 in front of a large crowd.
21/12/1828, Sir John Burdon-Sanderson, physiologist, was born (died 23/11/1905).
1/11/1828, Balfour Stewart, Scottish physician, was born (died 19/12/1887).
31/10/1828, Edinburgh bodysnatchers Burke and Hare claimed their last victim, a beggar woman named Docherty.
23/7/1828, Sir Jonathan Hutchinson, English surgeon, was born.
22/5/1828, Albrecht von Grafe, eye specialist, was born (died 20/7/1870)
1827, William Herschel devised an early contact lens, a glass capsule filled with animal jelly.
5/4/1827, Joseph Lister was born in London. He was a surgeon, and pioneered the use of antiseptics.
28/10/1826, Sir Andrew Clark, British physician, was born (died 6/11/1893).
13/8/1826, Rene Lannec, French doctor who invented and named the stethoscope in 1819, died.
29/11/1825, Jean Charcot, French physician, was born (died 16/8/1893).
6/12/1824, Sir Joseph Fayrer, English physician, was born (died 21/5/1907).
28/6/1824, Paul Broca, French surgeon and anthropologist, was born (died 9/7/1880).
5/10/1823, The British medical journal, The Lancet, was first published. It was set up by English surgeon Thomas Wakley.
26/1/1823, Edward Jenner, pioneer of vaccination, died in Berkeley, Gloucestershire..
27/12/1822, Louis Pasteur was born in Dole, France.
1821, Charles Bell, born Edinburgh 11/1744, gave the first descriotion of Bell’s Palsy, a facial paralysis.
12/5/1820. Florence Nightingale was born in Florence, Italy; she was named after the city. She had a privileged education but shocked her family by turning down several marriage proposals to pursue a career in nursing. In 1854 she nursed soldiers in the Crimean War and resolved to improve the appalling medical conditions there.
15/4/1820, John Bell, Scottish surgeon, died in Rome (born in Edinburgh 12/5/1763).
1818, Jean Baptiste Dumas, born Alais, France, 14/7/1800, first treated goitre with iodine.
24/11/1818, David Agnew, US surgeon (died 22/3/1892) was born.
19/7/1818, Sir John Erichsen, British surgeon, was born (died 23/9/1896).
31/12/1816, Sir William Gull, English physician, was born (died 29/1/1890).
1815, Renne Lannec invented the stethoscope (named after the Greek stethos, meaning breast). It comprised a roll of paper, then a wooden cylinder, to listen to the chest. It was intended to avoid the indignity of having to place an ear next to a woman’s chest.
23/8/1815, Sir Henry Acland, English physician, was born (died16/10/1900).
4/8/1815, Physician Carl Reinhold Wunderlich was born in Sulz, Germany. He was the first to realise the usefulness of taking accurate readings of a patient’s temperature.
30/1/1815, Sir William Jenner, English physician,was born (died 11/12/1898).
23/10/1814, At the Duke of York Hospital, Chelsea, surgeon Joseph Constantine performed the first ‘nose job’. Using a flap of skin from the patient’s forehead (a technique used in India in 800 BC) he reconstructed the nose of a soldier disfigured by toxic mercury treatment.
19/4/1813, Physician Benjamin Rush died in Philadelphia, USA.
15/3/1813, Dr John Snow, pioneer bacteriologist, was born.
20/10/1812, Austin Flint, heart research pioneer, was born.
31/8/1812, John Bennett, English physician, was born in London (died 1875).
3/7/1812, Sir Prescott Hewett, British surgeon, was born (died 19/7/1891)
5/3/1810, Jacob Bell, pharmaceutical chemist, was born in London (died 12/6/1859).
9/7/1809, Friedrich Henle, German anatomist, was born (died 13/5/1885).
5/5/1808, Pierre Cabanis, French physiologist, died (born 5/6/1757).
15/10/1806, Paul Barthez, French physician, died in Paris (born in Montpellier 11/12/1734).
17/9/1806, Guillaume Duchenne, French physician, was born (died 17/9/1875).
13/6/1806, Julia Brace, US blind deaf mute, who contributed much to studies in this area, was born in Connecticut (died in Connecticut 12/8/1884).
31/8/1805, James Currie, Scottish physician, died (born 31/5/1756).
11/4/1804, Otto Erdmann, physician who introduced vaccination into Saxony, was born (died 9/10/1869.
21/1/1804, Ernst Baldinger, German physician, died in Marburg (born near Erfurt 13/5/1738).
1801, Thomas Young (born 13/7/1773 in Milverton, England) discovered the cause of astigmatism.
27/12/1801, Charles Clay, English surgeon, was born (died 19/9/1893)
17/5/1801, William Heberden, English physician, died (born 1710).
9/3/1801, Johann Ackermann, German physician (born 17/2/1756) died.
6/10/1799, Physician William Withering died in Birmingham, England.
28/9/1799, Pierre Brasdor, French surgeon, died (born 1721).
19/11/1798, Caesar Hawkins, British surgeon, was born (died 20/7/1884).
11/12/1797, Richard Brockelsby, English physician, died (born 11/8/1722).
27/10/1797, Andrew Combe, physiologist, was born (died 9/8/1847).
18/7/1797, Sir Robert Christison, Scottish physician, was born (died 23/1/1882).
24/6/1795, German physiologist Ernst Heinrich Weber was born in Wittemberg. He began, in 1826, experiments with two point skin stimulation; how close can two needle points be felt before they are perceived as just one sensation.
1/6/1795, Pierre Desault, French surgeon, died (born 6/2/1744).
1794, John Dalton gave the earliest account of colour blindness, which he described as Daltonism, as he also has the condition.
13/7/1794, Scottish physician James Lind died in Hampshire, England.
13/4/1794, Jean Pierre Marie was born in France. He studied the nervous system,located the centre of respiration, and showed that the cerebellum controlled muscular movements.
7/11/1793, Antoine Clot, French physician, was born (died 28/8/1868).
29/10/1791, John Elliotson, English physician, was born (died 29//7/1868).
5/2/1790, William Cullen, physician, died (born 15/4/1710).
23/12/1789, Charles Epee, who did much for the deaf-mute, died (born 25/11/1712).
21/10/1788, George Combe, Scottish phrenologist, was born (died14/8/1858).
15/5/1788, Neil Arnott, Scottish physician, was born in Arbroath (died 2/3/1874 in London).
8/3/1787, Karl Grafe, German surgeon, was born (died 4/7/1840).
30/3/1783, William Hunter, British physician, died (born 23/5/1718).
16/2/1781, Rene Laennec, French doctor who invented and named the stethoscope, was born in Quimper, Brittany.
26/12/1780, John Fothergill, English physician, died (born 8/3/1712).
10/10/1780, John Abercrombie, Scottish physician (died 145/11/1844) was born in Aberdeen.
6/10/1777, Guillaume Dupuytren, French surgeon, was born (died 8/2/1835).
1775, Sir Percival Potts suggested that chimney sweeps in London were developing cancers of the scrotum and nasal area due to exposure to soot. This was one of the first conceptions that environmental factors could cause cancer.
11/4/1775, Birth of James Parkinson, the physician who identified Parkinson’s Disease.
1774, Lazzaro Spallanzani discovered the digestive action of saliva.
10/2/1773, John Gregory,Scottish physician, died (born 3/6/1724).
1772, Italian anatomist Antonio Scarpa (born Motta, 13/6/1747) discovered the labyrinth of the inner ear; the semicircular canals, vestibule and cochlea.
17/12/1772, Francois Broussart, French physician, was born (died 17/11/1838).
9/9/1770, Bernhard Albinus, German anatomist, died in Leiden (born 14/2/1697 in Frankfurt on Oder).
23/8/1768, Sir Astley Cooper, English surgeon, was born (died 12/2/1841).
12/5/1763, John Bell, Scottish surgeon, was born in Edinburgh (died in Rome 15/4/1820).
1761, Morgagni published an anatomy textbook based on observations from over 600 dead bodies in autopsies.
5/6/1757, Pierre Cabanis, French physiologist, was born (died 5/5/1808).
31/5/1756, James Currie, Scottish physician, was born (died 31/8/1805).
10/4/1755, Samuel Hahnemann, founder of homeopathy, was born (died 2/7/1843).
10/4/1752, William Cheselden, English surgeon, died (born 19/10/1688).
1749, David Hartley (born 30/8/1705 in Yorkshire, England), in his work Observations on man, first used the term ‘psychology’ as a systematic study of the operation of the mind.
29/8/1749, Physician Sir Gilbert Blane was born in Blanefield, Scotland. In 1795 he got the Royal Navy to make consumption of lime juice by sailors compulsory to prevent scurvy. This earned British sailors the nickname ‘limeys’.
1748, John Fothergill, born in England, 8/3/1712, gave the first description of diphtheria in his Account of the putrid sore throat.
1747, Thalassotherapy,bathing in sea water, was developed as a therapy by English physician Richard Russell (1687 – 1759). He tested his theories in Brighton. The idea was that beneficial elements found in seawater, such as calcium, iodine, magnesium, potassium and sodium could be absorbed through the skin. The therapy was intended to help with arthritis, depression, eczema, psoriasis and rheumatism.
20/5/1747, British naval surgeon James Lind (born 4/10/1716 in Edinburgh, Scotland) began an investigation to determine the cause of scurvy. He discovered that oranges and lemons were a good cure. In 1753 he published his Treatise on scurvy.
6/2/1744, Pierre Desault, French surgeon, was born (died 1/6/1795).
23/9/1738, Hermann Boerhaave, Dutch physician, died in Leiden (born near Leiden 31/12/1668).
13/5/1738, Ernst Baldinger, German physician, was born near Erfurt (died in Marburg 21/1/1804).
1736, US physician William Douglass described scarlet fever.
11/12/1734, Paul Barthez, French physician, was born in Montpellier (died in Paris 15/10/1806).
1730, George Martine performed the first tracheotomy for the treatment of diphtheria.
13/2/1728, John Hunter, British surgeon, was born (died 16/10/1793).
3/6/1724, John Gregory,Scottish physician, was born (died 10/2/1773).
11/8/1722, Richard Brockelsby, English physician, was born (died 11/12/1797).
11/5/1722, Peter Camper, Dutch anatomist, was born (died 7/4/1789).
9/8/1721, Prisoners in Newgate Gaol were offered a pardon if they agreed to be inoculated to test Dr Charles Maitland’s theories on the subject. Seven men volunteered, and all survived to live in freedom.
23/5/1718, William Hunter, British physician, was born (died 30/3/1783).
25/11/1712, Charles Epee, who did much for the deaf-mute, was born (died 23/12/1789).
8/3/1712, John Fothergill, English physician, was born (died 26/12/1780).
8/1/1704, Lorenzo Bellini, Italian physician, died in Florence (born in Florence 3/9/1643).
14/2/1697, Bernhard Albinus, German anatomist, was born in Frankfurt on Oder (died 9/9/1770 in Leiden).
1691, Clopton Havers published the first complete textbook on the bones of the human body.
19/10/1688, William Cheselden, English surgeon, was born (died 10/4/1752).
18/11/1686, King Louis XIV of France underwent a successful operation for haemorrhoids. The surgeon, Charles Francois, had specially-designed tools for the operation, and had practised on dozens of peasants and prisoners, some of whom died.
9/3/1683, Michael Ettmuller, physician, died (born 26/5/1644).
31/12/1668, Hermann Boerhaave, Dutch physician, was born near Leiden (died in Leiden 23/9/1738).
29/4/1667, John Arbuthnot, British physician, was born (died 27/2/1735).
2/9/1666, The Great Fire of London helped end the Great Plague.
17/6/1666, Antonio Maria Valsalva was born in Imola, Italy. In 1704 he provided the first detailed description of the physiology of the human ear.
28/9/1665. London was in the grip of The Plague; 7,000 died in the last week alone. In July 1665, deaths averaged 200 a week. People were fleeing the city; graveyards were full, and corpses were thrown into Plague Pits.
7/6/1665, The Plague was first reported in London. It was a very hot day. 70,000 people would die of the Plague by October. Plague forced Parliament to meet in Oxford.
26/5/1644, Michael Ettmuller, physician, was born (died 9/3/1683).
3/9/1643, Lorenzo Bellini, Italian physician, was born in Florence (died in Florence 8/1/1704).
24/10/1632, Anthony van Leeuwenhoek, naturalist, was born. Inventor of the microscope, he was the first person to see bacteria.
10/3/1628, Marcello Malpighi was born in Crevalcore, Italy. In 1660 he demonstrated, using the newly-invented microscope. that the lungs consist of many small air pockets and a complex system of capillaries.
27/1/1621, Birth of Thomas Willis at Great Bedwyn, England. In 1659 he published De febribus, describing typhoid fever.
23/2/1603, Andreas Caesalpinus, physician to Pope Clement III, died (born 1519).
9/10/1562, Fallopius Gabriello, anatomist, died.
20/12/1590, Ambroise Pare, known as the father of modern surgery, died in Paris.
21/9/1576, Girolamo Cardan, Italian physician, died (born 24/9/1501).
10/5/1566, Leonhard Fuchs, German physician, died (born 17/1/1501).
1546, The first Regius Professor of Medicine was appointed at Cambridge.
1546, The first description of typhus, and the nature of contagion, were made by Italian physician Girolamo Fracastoro in his work, De contagion et contagiosis morbis. He also described syphilis.
1543, At Basel, Switzerland, Vesalius published his great work - De humani corporis fabrica (The Structure of the Human Body). This contained the first accurate anatomical drawings of the human body.
1540, The United Barber-Surgeon’s Company was established in Britain.
1528, The first manual of surgery, Die Kliene Chirugia, was produced by Paracelsus (Theophrastus von Hohenheim), a Swiss physician and alchemist.
20/10/1524, Thomas Linacre, physician to King Henry VII and VIII and founder of the Royal College of Physicians in 1518, died.
1518, In England, ‘epidenic’ diseases were made notifiable by law.
2/8/1512, Alessandro Achillini, Italian anatomist, (born 29/10/1453 in Bologna) died in Bologna.
1508, Leonardo da Vinci drew plans of an early contact lens; a glass lens filled with water, to magnify vision.
24/9/1501, Girolamo Cardan, Italian physician, was born (died 21/9/1576).
17/1/1501, Leonhard Fuchs, German physician, was born (died 10/5/1566).
1500, The first Caesarian section, in which both mother and baby survived, was carried out by Jacob Nufer, Swiss sow-gelder, on his own wife.
29/10/1463, Alessandro Achillini, Italian anatomist, (died 2/8/1512 in Bologna) was born in Bologna.
1315, Italian surgeon Mondino de Luzzi held public dissections; he published the manual Anatomia.
1275, The book Chirugia, by William of Saliceto, contained the earliest writer records of dissection, a practice discouraged by the Church since 1163.
1235, The first dissections of a human body since the time of Ptolemy, 2rd century BCE were held at the School of Medicine, Salerno, an institution supported by Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II.
1231, Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor, decreed that doctor training schools must hold a dissection of a human body once every five years.
1230, Leprosy was brought into Europe by the Crusaders.
1208, A school of medicine was founded at Montpelier by students from Bologna.
1167, The Council of Tours forbade the clergy from practising surgery, so this skill was taken over by the barber-surgeons.
18/6/1037, Persian philosopher and physician Avicenna died. His writings were valued sources for European doctors.
594, The Plague ended in Europe. It had killed half the population.
219, Death of the Chinese physician Zhang (born 152), who compiled a large compendium of all the medical knowledge in China.
210, Death of Greek physician Galen (born ca. 130). He promoted bloodletting as a cure for many ailments. His thoughts dominated Wesyern medicine for the next 1500 years,until Renaissance physicians such as Andreas Vesalius challenged his views.
265 BCE, Rome learnt of Greek medical techniques, from Greek prisoners of war.
290 BCE, Eristratus investigated the human nervous system. In the course of public human dissections, Eristratus and Herophilus noted the existence of the liver, spleen, retina, duodenum, overies, Fallopian tubes and prostate gland. They deduced that the brain, not the heart, is the seat of emotions.
370 BCE. Death of the great physician Hippocrates, born ca. 460 BC.
430 – 432 BCE, The Plague in Athens.
1700 BCE, The Ebers Egyptian papyrus (discovered in 1872 AD) records the incidence of tooth decay and ophthalmic problems. At the same time, smallpox was recorded in China.
2595 BCE, The first Chinese medical text, Nei Ching, was published. It detailed the use of a range of medicines, including camphor, opium, and sodium sulphate.
2700 BCE, Acupuncture came into use in China.
2980 BCE, Imhotep, physician and advisor to Egyptian Pharaoh Imhotep, began to research medical as opposed to religious cures for illnesses.
3000 BCE, Autopsy techniques developed from the Egyptian embalming and preservation methods.
3050 BCE, Date of earliest known medical text, the Edwin Smith Papyrus.
Appendix 1 – Dentistry
1967, A 20-year study of fluoridation of the water supply in Evanston, Illinois, showed that cavities had been reduced by 58%.
17/11/1955. Anglesey became the first authority in Britain to introduce fluoride into the water supply.
1945, Fluorine began to be added to the water supply in the US.
1908, Dr Frederick McKay, a dentist in Colorado, USA, noticed that some of his patient’s teeth had become mottled, and that these teeth were not so prone to decay as un-mottled teeth. Guessing that something in the drinking water was causing this, he discovered, after studying other regions in the US, that fluorine in the water was the cause. This gave rise to the concept of fluoridating the water, enough to arrest decay without causing mottling.
22/7/1878, The UK Parliament prohibited medically-untrained people from calling themselves ‘dentists’.
26/1/1875, The first battery electric powered dental drill was used. Mains-powered dental drills were not used until 1908.
19/12/1846, The first dental extraction under anaesthetic was performed in Britain.
11/12/1844, Dr John M Riggs, of Hartford Connecticut, successfully extracted a tooth painlessly from Dr Horace Wells using nitrous oxide gas. He performed 40 more such operations, but abandoned them after a patient nearly died from an overdose of the gas; Dr Riggs was unaware that the nitrous oxide should be mixed with oxygen.
1834, Amalgam, or mercury alloy, now used for fiulling teeth.
1790, The dental drill was invented by John Greenwood, dentist to George Washington.
1771, John Hunter (born 13/2/1728) published The natural history of the human teeth. This laid the foundations for the science of dentistry
104, First mention of dentures, by the Roman poet Martial, who died in this year.
975 BCE, False teeth, for cosmetic purposes, in use by the Etruscans.
2900 BCE, Tooth filling was practised in Sumer.
Appendix 2 – Heart and Blood Cirulation,
2011, A continuous-flow artificial heart was developed that made blood flow through the body with no heartbeat or pulse.
2/9/2001, Death of heart transplant pioneer Dr Christiaan Barnard.
1995, In Britain, 30% of deaths were caused by coronary heart disease, compared to just 1% of deaths in 1930. The increased prevalence of high fat foods, previously only accessible to the very wealthy, was blamed.
16/5/1989. The first successful hole-in-the –heart operation on an adult was performed at the Brook Hospital, Greenwich, London. The patient was 66-year-old Eileen Molyneaux.
2/11/1986, Britain’s first artificial heart transplant operation was performed at Papworth Hospital, Cambridge.
24/6/1985, Keith Hardcastle, Britain’s longest surviving heart transplant patient, died 6 years after his operation.
2/12/1982, At the University of Utah, 61 year old retired dentist Barney Clark became the first person to receive a permanent artificial heart. He lived for 112 days with the device.
15/7/1970. An experimental pacemaker was fitted to a 56 year old woman at the National Heart Centre in London.
3/5/1968. Britain’s first heart transplant.
11/1/1968. The world’s fifth heart transplant was performed in New York.
2/1/1968, Christiaan Barnard performed a second heart transplant; the recipient Philip Blaiberg survived 594 days, proving the technique was feasible.
3/12/1967. Professor Christian Barnard, born 1923, performed the world’s first heart transplant in Cape Town. The recipient, a 53-year old grocer called Waskansky, who received the heart of a 25 year old traffic casualty, died 18 days later of pneumonia. The drugs given to suppress rejection compromised Waskansky’s immune system. A second heart transplant patient (see 2/1/1968) survived much longer.
20/9/1963, The first pre-natal blood transfusion was performed at the National Women’s hospital in Auckland, New Zealand, by Professor George Green, on a child born to Mrs E McLeod.
1963, The first artificial heart was patented.
22/7/1960, The implantable pacemaker was patented by Wilson Greatbach, New York, USA, for Wilson Greatbach Inc.
31/10/1958. Ake Senning, Swedish doctor, in Stockholm implanted the first internal heart pacemaker.
1953, The heart by-pass machine made open heart surgery possible.
4/10/1952. The first external pacemaker was developed by Dr Paul Zoll of the Harvard Medical School, and was fitted to David Schwartz. The first internal pacemaker was not developed until 1958.
8/3/1952. The first artificial heart was used on a 41-year old man. It kept him alive at the Pennsylvania Hospital, Philadelphia, for 80 minutes.
1/4/1950, Charles R Drew (born 3/6/1904 in Washington DC) was killed in a car accident in Burlington, North Carolina. He discovered that blood plasma, unlike whole blood, could be stored for long periods without spoiling; this facilitated the blood transfusion system. For this, Drew became the first Black American man in the US to be awarded a Doctor of Science Degree.
1937,The first artificial heart was implanted in a dog.
1937, The Rhesus blood factor was discovered by Karl Landsteiner and Alexander S Wiener.
15/3/1937. Bernard Faustus set up America’s first blood bank at Cook County Hospital, Chicago.
1930, Karl Landsteiner won a Nobel Prize for his discovery of the blood groups, making transfusions more successful.
8/11/1922, Dr Christian Barnard, South African surgeon who pioneered heart transplants, was born in Beaufort West, Cape Province.
27/3/1914. The first successful blood transfusion took place, in a hospital in Brussels. Earlier blood transfusions had met with the problem of the blood clotting, but in 1914 it was discovered that sodium citrate could be used as an anti-coagulant. This discovery led to the development of modern blood banks.
14/11/1900, Dr Karl Landsteiner of the Pathological and Anatomical Institute of Vienna announced the discovery of the three major blood groups.
9/9/1896. Surgery was performed on the heart for the first time, at Frankfurt City Hospital, Germany. The 22 year old patient had been stabbed in the heart during a pub brawl and stitches were inserted in the organ.
13/3/1886, Austin Flint, heart research pioneer, died (born 20/10/1812)
1838, Jons Jakob Berzelius pioneered the understanding of haemoglobin in the blood, realising the role of iron in oxygen transportation in the body.
25/9/1818, The first blood transfusion using human blood, as opposed to animal blood, took place in London, at Guys Hospital.
29/12/1816, Karl Freidrich Wilhelm Ludwig was born in Witzenhausen, Germany. In 1847 he demonstrated that the blood circulation is purely mechanical, due to heart pumping action.
1675, Dutch scientist Anton van Leeuwenhoek, aged 43, gave the first accurate description of red blood cells. He pioneered the development of the microscope. See also Technology and Innovation.
1669, Richars Lower’s Tractatus del Corde described the properties of the heart as a muscle, and how blood changes colour as it passes through the lungs.
12/6/1667. The first blood transfusion was made at Montpellier University. A 15 year old boy was given 9 oz. of blood from a lamb – surprisingly he recovered from this, and the fever he had been suffering. It was likely that blood clotting, of the sheep’s blood, had prevented much from actually entering the boy’s own bloodstream.
1658, Dutch naturalist Jan Swammerdam gave the first description of red blood cells.
3/6/1657, William Harvey, anatomist and physician, died near Saffron Walden, Essex. He discovered and demonstrated the circulation of the blood.
12/2/1637, Jan Swammerdam was born this day in Amsterdam. In 1658 he became the first person to see and describe red blood cells.
1628, William Harvey showed that blood circulated in the bodies of animals. Until then it had been assumed that arterial and venous blood, different in colour, were separate and had different finctions. Some thought that arterial blood carried some sort of energy from the air to the muscles, and venous blood carried food from the liver. By dissection and logical arguent, in his work Exercitatio anatomica de motu cordis et sanguinis in animalibus ('The Anatomical Function of the Movement of the Heart and the Blood in Animals'), Harvey showed that there was just one blood system, pumped around by the heart. However until oxygen was discovered there was no known reason for the blood to circulate, and until capillaries were discovered there was no known mechanism for this circulation between arteries and veins.
21/5/1618, Death of Italian physician Hieronymus Fabricius ab Aquapendente, who discovered one-way valves in veins.
1/4/1578, William Harvey, British anatomist who discovered the circulation of the blood, was born at Folkestone.
1540, The pulmonary circulation of the blood was discovered by Michael Servetus, Spanish theologian and physician. He was later burnt at the stake for heresy.
492 BCE, The Greek philosopher Empedocles of Sicily recognised the heart as the centre of the system of blood vessels; he wrongly attributed emotions to this organ also.
Appendix 2 – Kidneys and Bladder
16/2/1989, Harley Street kidney specialist Dr Raymond Crockett resigned over a ‘cash for kidneys’ scandal in which organs were taken from poor Turks for wealthy patients.
1964, Home kidney dialysis was introduced in the USA.
23/12/1954, The first successful kidney transplant was performed. Earlier transplant attempts had been thwarted by the problem of rejection; the recipient in this case went on to live another 8 years.
17/6/1950. In the US, the first kidney transplant took place. The patient, 44 year old Ruth Tucker, survived for 5 years but then died when the transplanted kidney failed.
1943, The first dialysis machine for patients with kidney failure was invented.
24/8/1906, Kidney transplants were carried out on dogs, at a medical conference in Toronto, Canada.
1861, The principle of dialysis was demonstrated for the first time, by Glasgow-born chemist Thomas Graham (1805-69). This led to the invention of the first kidney dialysis machine in 1943.
1678, The excretory ducts of the human kidneys (Bellini’s Diucts) were discovered by the Italian anatomist Lorenzo Bellini, 35; Bellini had taught medicine at Pisa since 1664. Bellini also discovered the action of nerves on muscles.
Appendix 3 – Reproduction, STDs and Childbirth
31/7/2000. Cases of sexually transmitted diseases had risen sharply among young people in the past year, according to official UK figures.
16/11/1992. A brain-dead woman had been artificially kept alive to allow her foetus to be born; however she miscarried and the life support was turned off.
30/1/1990, Surgeons at Guy’s Hospital, London, performed the first surgery on a baby in its mother’s womb.
1/10/1987, 48 year old surrogate grandmother Mrs Pat Anthony gave birth to triplets for her daughter Karen Ferriera-Jorge in Johannesburg, South Africa.
15/8/1987. Septuplets, three boys and four girls, were born to Susan Halton in Liverpool’s Oxford Street Hospital. Their combined weight was 9 ½ pounds. None survived; the last lived until 31/8/1987.
29/3/1986, The first test-tube quintuplets were born, in London.
4/1/1985, Mrs Kim Cotton, believed to be the first commercial surrogate mother in Britain, gave birth to a girl.
1983, In Australia, the first birth from a woman without ovaries, using donated eggs, was achieved.
18/11/1983, In Liverpool Janet Walton, 31, gave birth to sextuplets, all girls.
28/12/1981, The first American test-tube baby, Elizabeth Jordan Carr, was born in Norfolk, Virginia.
25/7/1978. The world’s first ‘test tube’ (IVF) baby was born, in Britain. Louise Joy Brown was born by Caesarean section at Oldham General Hospital, Lancashire, to Lesley Brown. She had been conceived by combining the sperm and egg in a Petri Dish, because her mother’s Fallopian Tubes were blocked.
1977, The first successful case of in-vitro fertilisation. A couple, John and Lesley Brown had tried and failed to conceive naturally for 9 years. Scientists Robert Edwards and Patrick Steptoe removed an egg from Lesley’s ovaries and injected John’s sperm into the egg. Two days later the now 8-celled embryo was implanted back into Lesley’s uterus. A baby girl was successfully born on 25/7/1978. By 2017, some 5 million babies had been conceived in-vitro.
28/3/1974, In Britain, the NHS Family Planning Service was inaugurated.
11/1/1974. The first surviving sextuplets were born to Mrs Sue Rosenberg in Cape Town, South Africa.
16/10/1972. Venereal Disease cases amongst under 16s in the UK were up 10% on last year.
26/2/1971. Hammersmith Borough Council launched a lurid and aggressive campaign against the spread of venereal diseases such as syphilis.
13/11/1969, In London, a woman had quintuplets after fertility drug treatment.
13/2/1969. Scientists in Cambridge announced the first successful in-vitro fertilisation of a human being.
1953, The first birth using a human egg that had been fertilised using previously-frozen sperm.
17/9/1953, The first successful separation of Siamese Twins took place, at the Ochnser Foundation Hospital in New Orleans.
1952, Virginia Apgar developed the Apgar Score to assess the viability of a newborn infant, in order to combat high neonatal mortality rates. Still used today, each infant is scored 0, 1 or 2 on 5 parameters; heart rate, breathing, reflexes, muscle tone and colour. The result is a score out of ten indicating any need for medical intervention.
1944, In Britain the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists recommended that 70% of births should take place in hospitals. Previously most births took place at the mother’s home, with the assistance of a midwife. The cost of a hospital birth, before the inception of the NHS, was 6 guineas,but for those women who could afford it, a hospital birth was a welcome respite from rationing, laundry and housekeeping duties.
15/12/1942, The British Government began a campaign against venereal disease, which had increased markedly since the war began.
26/11/1928, The first twins to be born by Caesarean section in Britain were delivered in Manchester.
3/11/1916, There was concern about rising rates of sexually-transmitted diseases in Britain, with 50,000 cases reported amongst servicemen in 1916.
1909, Paul Ehrlich, in Germany, prepared Salvarsan as a cure for syphilis;
1900, The age of menarche in Western girls was down to 14, from 17 in the late 1700s. By 2000 it was down to 13, and was around 12.5 by 2017.
17/1/1874. The original Siamese Twins, Chang and Eng Bunker, died within three hours of each other, aged 62. Chang and Eng meant Left and Right in Thailand, where they were born.
21/2/1866, August von Wasserman, German bacteriologist who invented a test for syphilis, was born.
31/1/1747, The first venereal disease clinic opened at London Lock Hospital.
1741, William Smellie became the first obstetrician to make a scientific study of childbirth. From 1741
Smellie gave midwives and medical students in London unprecedented practical lectures on childbirth. He achieved this by offering his services to poor women on condition that his students could attend the birth. In 1752 he published the Treatise on midwifery, the first scientific approach to obstetrics.
1721, Jean Palfryn introduced the use of forceps for facilitating birth.
1502, Syphilis first appeared in China, brought to the port of Canton by European traders.
1500, Jakob Nufer of Switzerland performed the first recorded Caeasarian operation on a living woman.
Appendix 3a, Thalidomide
30/7/1973, Families of thalidomide victims won £20 million damages after an 11-year court case fought on their behalf by The Sunday Times newspaper. Babies had been born with missing or malformed limbs after their pregnant mothers took the drug for morning sickness.
16/10/1972. Protesters demanded compensation from the makers of the drug Thalidomide.
29/11/1971, The British Government announced a fund of £3 million for the victims of thalidomide.
23/3/1970, In the UK, the High Court awarded £370,000 damages to 18 children born with birth defects due to thalidomide, against Distillers (Biochemicals). Five children born with tiny ‘flipper’ arms, the worst-disabled, received £28,000 each.
27/5/1968, The trial of the executives of the Chemie-Grunenthal company, responsible for the Thalidomide disaster that killed 80,000 babies and maimed 20,000 more, opened in Alsdorf, near Aachen. The trail was expected to last at least three years, but was shut down on 18/12/1970. All defendants were granted immunity from prosecution. The German Government and Grunenthal agreed a compensation scheme that many parents regarded as inadequate. Thalidomide was launched as a wonder cure for morning sickness on 1/10/1957; it was withdrawn on 27/11/1961. It was sold as Distaval in the UK, as Contergan in Germany. It emerged that no tests were done for effects on embryos; the executives claimed nobody in the 1950s realised that drugs taken by the mother could affect the foetus, which claim was untrue even then. Adults who took thalidomide as a sedative in 1959 had suffered serious nerve damage.
14/9/1962, Distillers Company agreed to pay £14 million to the victims of thalidomide.
1961, Thalidomide was withdrawn from sale. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the USA had been slow to approve it, so it was little-used there. A 1964 FDA report stated that just 17 US babies were affected. However there were clinical trials of Thalidomide in the US, and some US doctors prescribed it without waiting for FDA approval, meaning several hundred US babies were likely affected; not all victims know that their congenital malformations were due to the drug,
31/12/1958, There were fears that a drug prescribed for morning sickness, thalidomide, might be causing birth defects. Phcomelia, or ’seal-limbs’, where the long bones of the leg and arms did not develop, appeared to be on the rise. It was later discovered that thalidomide was toxic to foetuses of between 27 and 40 days after conception. Some 10,000 babies were born woth congenital malformations due to this drug.
1/10/1957, Thalidomide was first prescribed to pregnant women, as a cure for morning sickness.
Appendix i, AIDS
AIDS statistics, click here, https://www.avert.org/global-hiv-and-aids-statistics
24/11/1991. Freddie Mercury, lead singer of the rock group Queen, died of AIDS, aged 45.
10/10/1992, Tens of thousands rallied in Washington, D. C., calling on the government to dedicate more funding to combating HIV/AIDS.
17/6/1991. 8,000 scientists met for an international conference on AIDS at Florence. AIDS was now in 163 countries and especially severe in Africa; the WHO estimated that over 1.5 million people had developed AIDS, with a total of 8–10 million infected. WHO expected a total of 40 million AIDS cases by 2000. In the USA, 170 had the disease, and a further 6,000 contracted it every month; in the UK 4,500 cases had been reported since 1981.
4/6/1991. The AIDS epidemic worsened in Malawi, with 37% of the population now carrying the virus.
2/5/1991. The World Health Organisation estimated that 40 million people will have the AIDS virus by 2000.
11/12/1990, The British Government announced it would award £42 million to haemophiliacs who became infected with HIV after being treated with contaminated Inhibitor Factor VIII.
8/3/1990. Over 3,000 people in the UK now had AIDS.
11/1/1990. In the UK, 1,612 have died of AIDS.
8/11/1988. In the UK, the death toll from AIDS reached 1,002, with 1,862 cases reported. A government report issued on 30/11/1988 feared that up to 50,000 in the UK could be HIV+ and that by 1992 17,000 AIDS deaths might have occurred.
5/9/1988. Britain now had 1,730 reported cases of AIDS and 949 deaths.
11/7/1988. 8,500 people in the UK were known to be carrying the AIDS virus.
13/1/1988. One in every 61 babies born in New York in December 1987 had the AIDS virus. Doctors believed up to 40% of them would develop AIDS. In the UK, there were 1,277 AIDS cases; 697 had died from the disease.
10/8/1987, One person a day was dying of AIDS in Britain.
20/3/1987, The drug AZT was launched to combat AIDS.
15/2/1987. The World Health Organisation announced that a total of 38,401 AIDS cases had been reported in 85 countries. The AIDS virus had been discovered in the USA on 23/4/1984.
21/11/1986, The UK Government began an AIDS awareness advertising campaign focussed on safe sex.
16/12/1985, 8,000 Americans had now died of AIDS.
2/10/1985. Hollywood actor Rock Hudson died of AIDS, aged 59.
26/9/1985, The British Government announced £1 million funding to stop the spread of AIDS.
25/7/1985, Film star Rock Hudson was admitted to hospital suffering from AIDS.
10/5/1985. The World Health Organisation announced that AIDS cases were doubling every year in the USA and Europe. Worldwide, 11,000 AIDS cases had been reported since the virus was discovered on 23/4/1984.
11/4/1985. An 18-month old boy became the first British baby to die of AIDS.
15/3/1985, In Britain, blood donors were now to be tested for AIDS.
23/4/1984. The discovery of the AIDS virus was announced in the USA.
21/5/1983. The US made AIDS top health priority.
1/5/1983, The HIV virus that caused AIDS was identified
31/12/1981. Doctors became aware of a new disease that destroyed the immune system and appeared to be common in homosexuals. This was to be known as AIDS.
5/6/1981, The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention reported that five homosexual men in Los Angeles, California, had a rare form of pneumonia seen only in patients with weakened immune systems. These were the first recognised cases of AIDS.
Appendix ii, Cholera
10/1/2010, Deaths from a cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe now amounted to 4,293, with 98,741 cases reported.
1961, The El Tor outbreak of cholera started in Indonesia. Assisted by air travel, it reached Taiwan by 1963, and by 1964 was present in Taiwan, Hong Kong, India and Egypt. By 1965 it was found in Iran and Saudi Arabia, and by1970 had reached Libya, Lebanon and Astrakhan,
29/8/1902, A cholera epidemic in Egypt killed over 9,000.
13/2/1832. Asiatic Cholera appeared for the first time in London.
21/6/1831, King William IV of England, on opening the UK Parliament, announced the arrival of a virulent strain of cholera in Europe. Starting in the Ganges area of India in 1826, cholera had spread through Iran and Turkey into south east Europe. It first hit the UK at Sunderland on 19/10/1831. Thereafter it spread rapidly in the slums of the new industrial cities, killing 3,000 in Glasgow, 700 in Leeds, 200 in York, 1,500 in Liverpool, 900 in Manchester and 6,800 in London. Britain was subsequently hit by a further cholera outbreak in 1848/9 (450 deaths in Edinburgh, 3,800 in Glasgow, 7,000 across the whole of Scotland). Cholera came again in 1853/4, starting from Tyneside, and in 1854 in London. This outbreak killed 30,000 across the UK; 10,738 in London alone. The fourth and final outbreak of cholera in Britain was in 1866, starting from Southampton; total UK fatalities amounted to 18,000.
1817, A cholera pandemic began in India and spread to east Africa and across much of SE Asia, from Japan to the Philippines.
Appendix iii, Diabetes and Insulin
23/5/1977, Scientists reported using bacteria to make insulin.
1865, Insulin was first synthesised.
24/7/1925. Insulin (patented 12/6/1922) was first used to successfully treat a patient, 6 year old Patricia Cheeseman, at Guy’s Hospital London.
12/6/1922, Insulin, the treatment for diabetes, was patented by Frederick Banting. See 27/7/1921 and 24/7/1925.
11/1/1922, Leonard Thompson, aged 14, became the first patient to be treated with insulin for his diabetes, at Toronto General. Hospital. He lived for another 13 years before dying of pneumonia at age 27.
27/7/1921. Insulin was isolated by Dr Frederick Banting at the University of Toronto medical School, helped by his assistant Charles Best, and tested on a de-pancreatised dog the same day. It was first used successfully on a human on 11/1/1922.
1916, The name ‘insuline’ was first coined by English physiologist Edward A Sharpey-Schafer for the hormone produced by the Islets of Langerhans in the pancreas.
27/1/1899, Charles Best, Canadian co-discoverer of insulin for treating diabetes, was born in West Pembroke, Maine.
14/11/1891, Sir Frederick Banting, Canadian co-discoverer of insulin with McLeod and Best in 1922, was born in Alliston, Ontario.
1889, German physiologists J von Mering and OMinkowski removed the pancreas from a dog and noted that the animal now urinated more frequently, and its urine attracted flies and wasps. The urine was found to contain sugar, and the dog went into a diabetic coma and died.
1869, The Islets of Langerhans were discovered in the pancreas by German medical student Paul Langerhans, aged 22. These cells produce glucagon and insulin, essential for the body to regulate its sugar metabolism.
1860, French physician Etienne Lancereaux, 31, attributed diabetes to a pancreatic disorder.
25/7/1847, Physician Paul Langerhans was born in Berlin, Germany. In 1869 he discovered the small groups of cells in the pancreas now known as the islets of Langerhans. They were later discovered to be the source of insulin.
1815, Michel Chevreul, born Angers, France, 31/8/1786, showed that the sugar in the urine of diabetics was glucose; an important step in understanding the disease. See 1860.
1788, English physician Thomas Cawley noted abnormalities in the pancreas of a diabetic person n whom he was conducting an autopsy. However Cawley disregarded this observation, still believing that diabetes was a disease of the kidneys,
1683, Swiss anatomist Johann Conrad Brunner, aged 30, removed the pancreas of a dog and shwed that the animal then developed a huge thirst. This was an early indication that diabetes was due to an abnormality in the pancreas, see 1788.
11/11/1675, Death of Thomas Willis, physician to King Charles II and to the Duke of York. He was the first to notice an increase in what we now know as diabetes amongst his more affluent clients – he called it ‘the pissing evil’. He also noted the very sweet nature of this urine. The wealthy in England were raising their consumption of sugar, now being imported from the Caribbean, both in desserts and in tea. In fact the issue of sweet urine and diabetes was also known to the ancient Greeks, Indians and Chinese.
643, Death of the Chinese physician Chen Ch’uan. He was the first to describe the symptoms of diabetes, including thirst and sweet urine.
Appendix iv, Influenza and other respiratory inc. Covid-19
10/8/2010, The World Health Organisation declared the H1N1 influenza pandemic officially over.
11/6/2009, The influenza strain H1N1 sparked fears of a global flu pandemic.
28/4/2009, The Mexican Government confirmed an outbreak of Swine Flu in humans.
30/9/2005, The UN issued warnings that a pandemic of Avian Flu might be imminent, and kill between 5 and 150 million people.
13/3/2003, The first case of SARS was reported, in Hanoi, Vietnam. The SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) virus killed 813 and affected 8,400 people. In Canada there were 251 cases and 41 deaths. In China there were 5,327 cases and 349 deaths. In Hong Kong there were 1,755 cases and 300 deaths. In Taiwan there were 665 cases and 180 deaths.
9/1/1970, In Britain, Hong Kong Flu claimed 2,850 lives in a week.
7/1921, The last new cases of Spanish Flu were being reported in New Caledonia.
1920, The Spanish Flu pandemic had killed 50 - 100 million people. In the developed world, mortality was about 2%; in Britain, 250,000 died, mostly aged between 20 and 40. Deaths in other countries included, Bulgaria 51,000, France 238,000, Germany 427,000, Italy 544,000, Portugal 136,000, Spain 252,000. However in India, where 18.5 million died, it was 6%, and in Egypt, where 138,000 died, mortality was 10%. Death rates tended to be higher in populations which had been less exposed to the flu virus previously.
26/10/1918. In London alone, in the past week, Spanish flu claimed 2,225 lives.
21/10/1918. The Spanish Flu epidemic began in Britain. 150,000 died of this disease in the last quarter of 1918. It killed twice as many as died in World War One.
4/3/1918, The first recorded case of Spanish flu, in a US soldier at Cape Funston, a military base in Kansas.
17/2/1900, The influenza epidemic in Britain ended.
9/1/1900, The influenza epidemic in London was killing 50 people a day.
Appendix v, Malaria
2016, There were 216 million malaria cases worldwide, 80% of them in India and 14 sub-Saharan countries. 445,000 people died of malaria.
31/12/2014, During 2014, malaria killed 627,000 worldwide, 77% of these being children under 5. In 2014 there were 207 million new cases of malaria, and Africa lost an estimated US$ 12 million productivity due to the disease.
1977, The number of malaria cases in India stood at 10 million, up from 100,000 in 1965. The emergence of resistant strains of the disease was to blame.
10/12/1902. Major Ronald Ross of the British army won the Nobel Prize for medicine because of his work relating malaria to mosquitoes.
20/8/1897, Sir Ronald Ross discovered that malaria was spread by mosquitoes.
6/12/2019, A surge in measles cases worldwide was reported, with 10 million cases and 142,000 deaths occurring in 2018. Survivors often die soon after because their immune system has been compromised. Anti-vacination sympathies have been blamed for the increase, with cases in 2019 trending towards three times that for 2018.
27/9/2017, The World Health Organisation declared that measles had been ‘eliminated’ from the UK, Spain and Denmark for the frst time ever; these countries had been free of the disease for 36 months. 33 of the 53 countries in Europe wree now measles-free. However doctors in the UK were still treating 1,000 cases from overseas. Over 95% of British children had been vaccinated woth the MMR jab, despite publicity against it. In 1961 there were 764,000 measles cases in Britain, resulting in 152 deaths.
1963, First vaccine for measles was licenced.
1954, The measles virus was first isolated.
10/9/1624, Physician Thomas Sydenham was born in England. He was the first to describe measles and identify scarlet fever. He advocated the use of opium to alleviate pain, chinchona bark (quinine) to relieve malaria, and iron to treat anaemia.
Appendix vi, Mental illness
29/12/1987, Prozac made its debut in the USA. It was initially developed as a drug to treat high blood pressure, but the success seen in animals in this area failed to materialise with humans. However it found a role as an anti-depressant. Before Prozac and other drugs, depression, sometimes romantically referred to as ‘melancholy’, could lead to committal to a mental institution in the most severe cases, so sufferers were reluctant to seek treatment. Prozac boosts the level of serotonin in the brain by preventing its destruction after it has delivered its message; it is a Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor or SSRI. Although some patients have alleged that it changes personality, even leading to suicide attempts, some 35 million people (2006) take it worldwide.
13/11/1962. UK doctors estimated that 40,000 Britons were taking pep pills.
6/6/1961, Carl Gustav Jung, Swiss psychologist and associate of Freud, died aged 85.
9/7/1943, Clifford Beers, US mental hygiene pioneer, died aged 67.
15/7/1940, Eugen Bleuler, Swiss psychiatrist who introduced the term schizophrenia to describe the disorder previously known as dementia praecox, died aged 82.
23/9/1939. Sigmund Freud, Austrian psychiatrist, born 6/5/1856, died in Hampstead aged 83. He had moved to London in 1938 following Hitler’s annexation of Austria.
6/1/1938. Sigmund Freud arrived in London, fleeing Nazi persecution.
1937, Italian doctors Ugo Cerlutti and Lucio Bini developed the use of electro-convulsive therapy (ECT) to treat schizophrenia.
1916, F W Mott developed a theory of shell-shock.
1911, Bleuler in Switzerland coined the term ‘schizophrenia’.
17/9/1910, A London doctor stated that if lunacy kept increasing at the current rate, the sane would be outnumbered by the insane within 40 years.
1906, Alzheimers Disease was first described by Alois Alzheimer.
1/1/1906, In Britain the Lunacy Commission reported that on this date 121,979 persons were certified as insane.
1890, In Britain the Lunacy Act compelled local authorities to provide asylum accommodation for all those who, through mental incapacity, could not provide for themselves and who had no relatives to care for them.
23/6/1888, Edmund Gurney, English psychologist, died (born 23/3/1847).
17/7/1887, Dorothy Lynde Dix, pioneer in the humane treatment of the mentally disabled in the US (born 4/4/1802 in Hampden, Maine), died in Trenton, New Jersey.
26/7/1875, Carl Jung, Swiss psychoanalyst, was born in Kesswil.
29/11/1874, Antonio Caetano de Abreu Freire Egas Moniz was born in Avanca, Portugal. In 1935 he developed prefrontal lobotomy as a treatment for mental illness.
7/2/1870, Birth of Alfred Adler, the psychoanalyst who introduced the concept of the inferiority complex.
6/5/1856, Sigmund Freud, Austrian pioneer of psychoanalysis, was born in Freiburg, Moravia.
23/3/1847, Edmund Gurney, English psychologist, was born (died 23/6/1888).
13/12/1840, Jean Esquirol, French psychiatrist, died (born 3/2/1772).. In 1817 he began a series of lectures on the treatment of the insane in French asylums, exposing such mistreatment that the Government appointed a commission to investigate.
3/2/1772, Jean Esquirol, French psychiatrist, was born (died 13/12/1840. In 1817 he began a series of lectures on the treatment of the insane in French asylums, exposing such mistreatment that the Government appointed a commission to investigate.
Appendix vii, Polio
8/2020, Africa was declared free of polio.Nigeria was the last African country where the disease was present..The disease was present in nature now only in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
12/4/1955, The Salk polio vaccine was pronounced safe.
23/2/1954, In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, the first mass inoculation of children against polio began, using the Salk vaccine.
23/2/1954, In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, the first mass inoculation of children against polio began, using the Salk vaccine.
11/11/1953. The polio virus was identified.
26/3/1953. The Salk vaccine proved effective against polio.
1927, The ‘Iron Lung’, or Drinker Respirator, was invented by Harvard Professor Philip Drinker. It was intended for child victims of respiratory faulire due to acute poliomyelitis.
28/10/1914. Jonas Salk, US bacteriologist who discovered the anti-poliomyelitis vaccine, was born in New York City, to Polish-Jewish immigrant parents.
Appendix viii, Smallpox
8/5/1980. The World Health Organisation declared that smallpox had been eradicated.
11/9/1978. The world’s last smallpox victim died. She was a medical school photographer in Birmingham, and had caught the virus on 30/8/1979 after it escaped from a laboratory located on the floor below her workplace. The Head of Department responsible for this laboratory later committed suicide by cutting his throat.
21/1/1962 . Smallpox was also a threat as an epidemic hit Britain and other countries insisted visitors from the UK were vaccinated.
19/2/1902. France made smallpox vaccinations compulsory.
31/1/1902, The number of smallpox victims in London rose to 2,273.
21/1/1799. Edward Jenner introduced the smallpox vaccination. In the 18th century, smallpox took over from the bubonic plague as the major killer disease. Edward Jenner worked as a doctor in Berkeley, Gloucestershire. By observing local milkmaids, Jenner tested the generally held belief that cowpox sufferers were immune to smallpox. In 1796 he experimented by scraping pus from a cowpox sore on the arm of a milkmaid and inserting it into two cuts on the arm of a young boy. On 1/7/1796 he did the same with pus from a smallpox sore. The boy caught cowpox but not smallpox. After doing this to 23 other people, Jenner called this method ‘vaccination’, meaning ‘from a cow’. Jenner published his findings in 1798 and despite scepticism from doctors, vaccination became widely accepted. Even members of the Royal Family were vaccinated. Vaccination became free for all infants in 1840 and compulsory in Britain in 1853. In 1980 the World Health Organisation declared smallpox had been eradicated throughout the world.
14/5/1796. Dr Edward Jenner, born 17/5/1749, from Berkeley, Gloucestershire, carried out his first human vaccination. He infected an eight year old, James Phipps, with cowpox, or ‘vaccinia’ disease, having once heard a dairymaid claim that she would never catch smallpox because she had been infected by cowpox. Then on July 1st he deliberately exposed the boy to smallpox; he proved resistant to the disease.
17/5/1749, Edward Jenner, pioneer of vaccination, was born at Berkeley vicarage, Gloucestershire.
Appemdix a – National Health Service (UK)
27/7/2000. Tony Blair’s government unveiled its national plan for the Health Service, with a ten-year package of sweeping reforms and restructuring. The days of dirty wards, inedible food, and entertainment restricted to volunteer-staffed radio stations were over, according to the proposals.
29/1/1988. Junior Health Minister (Conservative), Edwina Curry, told people they should forego holidays to pay for private health care.
10/6/1968, NHS prescription charges were reintroduced. See 1/2/1965.
1/2/1965, In the UK, NHS prescription charges were removed. They were re-introduced on 10/6/1968, see Price; 16/1/1968.
6/7/1960. Aneurin Bevan, founder of the National Health Service in 1948, Minister of Health 1945-51, died. He was born on 15/11/1897.
7/6/1960, The first NHS hearing aids were issued.
23/4/1951. The Labour Health Minister Nye Bevan and two other ministers resign over the introduction of charges for NHS glasses and false teeth. The charges were imposed to pay for defence costs.
6/10/1949, Aneurin Bevan gave some figures for the demand on Britain’s new NHS since its inception on 5/7/1948. 187,000,000 prescriptions had been dispensed at a cost of 2s 9d (14p) each; 5,250,000 pairs of glasses had been given out, with another 3,000,000 on order; 8,500,000 dental patients had been treated. The Government Actuary, Sir George Epps, had estimated that the cost of the NHS in its first year would be £170 million; the actual figure turned out to be £242 million. Annual costs were expected to fall as the population grew fitter; in fact annual costs rose to £384 million in 1952/3.
5/7/1948. The National Health Service was established in the UK. Introduced under a Labour government, it provided free medical treatment, and free prescriptions for glasses, teeth, and wigs. In its first year the NHS cared for 47.5 million patients, provided 5.25 million pairs of glasses, 7,000 artificial eyes and 5,000 wigs. Doctors wrote 187 million NHS prescriptions, and by 1950, 95% of UK citizens were using the NHS.
7/6/1948, Over half of UK doctors agreed to join the NHS.
18/2/1948. In a poll by the British Medical Association, 86% of doctors voted against joining the NHS.
27/1/1948, UK medical consultants threatened to boycott the new National Health Service.
21/3/1946. Aneurin Bevan announced Labour Government plans for a National Health Service.to become operational in 1948. The cost per year was expected to be around £152 million (£5,000 million in 2015 prices; actual 2015 NHS spending is more like £115,000 million).
17/2/1944, In the UK, the White Paper on the National Health Service was published.
4/5/1910. Lloyd George introduced a National Health Insurance Bill.
Appendix b – Hospitals, (London)
1982, The number of hospitals in the UK had fallen from 3,000 in 1960 to 2,650. The number of psychiatric hospitals had fallen over this period from 2,650 to 2,150.
1980, A specialist surgical team for heart transplants was established at Harefield Hospital, NW of London, by Magdi Yacoub (born 1935). Harefield Park was the home of the founder of The Lancet.
1967, The first research and teaching hospice in the UK (for the care of the terminally ill) was established at St Christopher’s Hospice, London, founded by Cicely Saunders.
4/9/1965. Albert Schweitzer, French medical missionary, died aged 90 in Lambarene, Gabon, in the village where he had opened his hospital for natives in 1913. He was aged 90, and won the Nobel Prize in 1952.
1959, In Swindon the first part of the new Princess Margaret Hospital was opened.
1957, The reconstruction of Guy’s Hospital, London began, at a cost of well over £2,000,000.
15/4/1925, Sir James Barrie donated the copyright of Peter Pan to Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children in London.
1916, The Maudsley Hospital, London SE5, a psychiatric hospital, was founded.
15/8/1913, Dr. Albert Schweitzer performed major surgery for the first time at the site of what would become the Albert Schweitzer Hospital at Lambaréné in Gabon, at that time a part of French Equatorial Africa.
1887, The London Skin Hospital was founded.
1874, The Central London Hospital for Throat, Nose and Ear was founded.
1868, The East End Hospital for Children was founded.
1867, Queen’s Hospital for Children was founded.
1866, The Belgrave Hospital for Children and the Grosvenor Hospital for Children were founded.
1863, The Hospital for Diseases of the Throat, London, was founded.
1861, The National Dental Hospital was founded.
1860, St Peter’s Hospital for Stone, London, was founded.
1859, The National Hospital for Paralysis and Epilepsy was founded.
1858, The Royal Dental Hospital was founded.
1857, The National Hospital for Diseases of the Heart, the Royal Eye Hospital and the Liverpool Infirmary for Children were founded.
1855, The Poplar Hosiptal for Accidents was founded.
1854, The Royal Hospital for Incurables, Putney, was founded,
14/2/1852. London’s famous children’s hospital, in Great Ormond Street, opened. The first patient admitted was Eliza Armstrong.
1851, The Free Cancer Hospital, Fulham, was founded.
1850, The London Smallpox Hospital was founded.
1849, The London Homeopathic Hospital was founded.
1848, The Victoria Park Hospital for Diseases of the Heart and Lungs was founded.
1847, The Samaritan Free Hospital for Women was founded.
1840, Kensington Children’s Hospital was founded.
1838, The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, London, and the Metropolitan Ear, Nose and Throat Hospital were founded.
1836, The Metropolitan Free Hospital was founded in east London top treat poor patients. However it was later forced to adopt a subscription model to ensure funding, so had to drop the word ‘Free’ from its title.
1835, St Marks Hospital for Cancer was founded.
1829, The Hospital for Children, Manchester was founded.
1818, The Charing Cross Hospital was founded,
1816, The Royal Ear Hospital, the Royal Westminister Ophthalmic Hospital and the Royal Waterloo Hospital for Children and Women were founded.
1814, The Royal Hospital for Diseases of the Chest was founded.
1806, Exeter Eye Hospital was founded.
1805, Moorflelds Eye Hospital was founded.
1802, The London Fever Hospital was founded.
1792, The Liverpool Royal Lunatic Asylum was founded.
1787, Wakefield Hospital was founded.
1784, Hull Royal Infirmary was founded.
1783, Kent Dispensary and Miller Hospital was founded.
1782, Nottingham General Hospital was founded.
1782, Hull Infirmary was founded.
1777, The York Asylum was founded.
1776, Hereford General Infirmary was founded.
1771, Leicester Infirmary was founded.
1770, Radcliffe Informary, Oxford, was founded.
1769, Lincoln County Hospital was founded.
1767, Leeds Infirmary was founded.
1766, Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge, opened.
1766, The Manchester Royal Lunatic Asylum was founded.
1765, John Morgan founded the first medical school in the USA, at the College of Pemnnsylvania.
1752, Manchester Royal Infirmary was founded.
11/2/1752, The first hospital in what is now the USA opened, in Pennsylvania.
1751, The first mental institution was opened in London.
29/3/1751, Thomas Coram, English philanthropist who established the Foundling Hospital in Hatton Garden , London (17/10/1740) died (born 1668).
1750, The City of London Maternity Hospital was founded.
1746, Middlesex County Hospital was founded, to treat smallpox. Worcester Royal Infirmary was founded.
1745, Gloucester Infirmary was founded. Shrewsbury Infirmary was founded. Liverpool Royal Infirmary was founded
1743, Devon and Exeter Hospital was founded.
17/10/1740, The Foundling Hospital opened in Hatton Garden, London.
17/10/1739, The Foundling Hospital (now Coram), the UK’s first dedicated children’s charity, was created by a Royal Charter of King George II.
1738, The Bath General Hospital was founded, so as to make use of the curative properties of the water in the spa town.
17/12/1724, Thomas Guy, founder of Guys Hospital, died (born 1644).
1723, Guys Hospital, London, was founded by Thomas Guy, a bookseller aged 77 The hospital opened in 1725.
14/1/1716. Westminster Hospital founded.
30/6/1696. Greenwich Hospital founded.
10/2/1623, George Heriot, founder of Heriot’s Hospital Edinburgh, died (born 1563).
26/6/1553, Christ’s Hospital London was founded on the ste of the former Greyfriars Monastery by King Edward VI, as a hospital for poor children.
1407, Bethlehem Hospital, London, became an institution for the insane; later known as Bedlam. It was originally founded as a priory for the Order of the Star of Bethlehem in 1247. Records show that some hospital patients wer treated there as early as 1330.
5/6/1123. St Bartholomew Hospital, London, was founded.
Ca. 1085, St Wulstan’s Hospital, Worcester, was founded by Bishop Wulstan.
1084, St John’s Hospital, Canterbury was founded by Lanfranc.
977, A hospital was founded at Baghdad. It employed 24 physicians and had a surgery and a ward for eye disorders.
937, King Athelstan founded St Peters Hospital at York.
794, A Saxon hospital existed at St Albans.
1524, The Hospital of Jesus of Nazareth, Mexico, was founded. It remains as the oldest hospital in the Americas.
Appendix c – Anaesthitics,
7/4/1853, Queen Victoria used chloroform to help her through the birth of her seventh child, Prince Leopold. This established chloroform as the favoured anaesthetic in Britain.
9/11/1847, Obstetrician Sir James Simpson, Professor of Midwifery at the University of Edinburgh demonstrated a new anaesthetic, trichloromethane, better known as chloroform. Claimed to be three times as effective as ether, it was to be of great use during difficult childbirths; however Scottish Calvinists opposed the use of any anaesthetic during childbirth.
16/10/1846. Anaesthetic was used successfully for the first time in a major operation, at Massachusetts General Hospital. Dentist William Morton Warren used diethyl ether before removing a tumour from a man’s jaw.
30/3/1842. The first anaesthetic, ether, was used in an operation, in Jefferson, Georgia, USA. The surgeon was Dr Crawford Long. He removed a cyst from the neck of a Mr James Venables. The bill for the anaesthesia was US$ 2.25. Dr Long performed 9 successful operations with ether, including the amputation of a boy’s finger, but was accused of sorcery by the older citizens of Jefferson and threatened with lynching if he continued.
1/11/1815, Crawford Williamson Long, surgeon, was born in Danielsville, Georgia, USA. He is credited with the first use of ether as an anaesthetic, on 30/3/1842.
27/10/1794, Birth of Robert Lister, Scottish doctor who performed the first operation using anaesthetic.
1500 BCE, Opium poppies were being used to induce a form of anaesthesia in the Middle East.
1236, Dominican Friar Theodoric of Lucca pioneered a form of anaesthetic. He advocated the use of sponges soaked in narcotic and held to the patient’s nose; he favoured the use of opium and mandragora.