Hospital epidemiology: from Semmelweis to the post-antibiotic era


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resistencia microbiana epidemiology

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Pacheco, R. (2019). Hospital epidemiology: from Semmelweis to the post-antibiotic era. Interdisciplinary Journal of Epidemiology and Public Health, 2(1), e–013. (Original work published January 30, 2019)


In mid-1948, at the Allgemeines KrankenHaus general hospital in Vienna, Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis proposed the use of chlorine solutions for washing doctors’ hands. He suggested that this measure should be performed before and after attending and examining women who were in labor. This was the most effective measure to reduce the high mortality rates from puerperal fever. At that time, Semmelweis sowed the seed that would germinate one of the most important branches of public health, Hospital Epidemiology (1). This Hungarian obstetrician had to extend the frontiers of knowledge beyond the cold walls of the paradigms of the time. With few, but novel, statistical and epidemiological tools, he managed to combine all the steps of clinical and hospital research, from a shrewd and critical observation on the mortality of women in labor and newborns.
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