Memory of the World Register

Hungary - Semmelweis' discovery

A collection of printed materials on the discovery of the causes of childbed fever and elaborating aseptic prevention against it by Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis between 1847-1861. Semmelweis proved that puerperal fever having led earlier to particularly high mortality rates can be fully prevented. He determined the etiology of puerperal fever and, in doing so, also proved that the infection can be fully prevented if the persons getting into contact with the women giving birth thoroughly sterilize their hands. The prevention recommended by him is unique and was accepted relatively slowly in the world, although others also realized his achievement and studied this phenomenon.

Photos: © Semmelweis Museum, Library and Archives of the History of Medicine

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