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Surgical and Hospital Practices in Victorian Canada

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Jamie Lee

on 1 December 2012

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Transcript of Surgical and Hospital Practices in Victorian Canada

Surgical and Hospital Practices Surgery and Medicine - The Victorian period was an era in which medical progress shaped future standardized practices

- Before many discoveries were made people were not enlightened about the common knowledge we think is obvious today

- Some common treatments included leeching, blood
draining, and cold water dousing

- Even in the 1870s, scientists believed that germs
grew randomly out of liquids

- Surgical procedures were repulsive and menial in
comparison to today's procedures, and lacked in

- With the influx of immigrants, diseases and epidemics were a very big problem in Canada

- Cholera, smallpox, typhoid fever, influenza and
tuberculosis killed many Canadians. In the case of cholera,
epidemics raged throughout the land in 32, 34, 49, and 50s In the Operating Room Doctors were ignorant to the harms of uncleanliness.

It was not uncommon for surgeons to smoke during an operation.

They used the same instruments on several patients without cleaning them properly, and held knives in their mouths when not in use. Change to Surgical Procedures 1840, Anesthetics drugs that cause lack of sensation. Patients
could now be put to sleep during operations. Hospitals -The organization of hospitals and physicians for public health came about in the 19th Century

-Previously, physicians were called to homes. Hospitals were for the poor whom, needy and ill, could not afford for a doctor to look in their homes

-They provided shelter, food, care, and general aid; and were
often run by charity or established by religious orders/nuns

-Examples of such early hospitals would be the
Hotel-Dieu hospitals in both Quebec and Montreal
(1639,1642) operated by a catholic organization

-The hospitals in the early 1800s were mainly small, private practices set up by individual physicians.

-Not until the mid 19th Century was the modern hospital system formed The Profession Victorian Canada was a arising, but turbulent period for the medical profession with the lack of organization of French and English doctors, immigrant doctors trained outside of Canada and those trained in Canada

Tension between French and English doctors on how to dictate the medical profession

Universities and boards disagreed on how to regulate the system while there were many disqualified people practicing

A governor appointed board kept these unlicensed persons from doing this until the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Lower Canada was formed in 1847

In 1839, some British trained physicians from Toronto were made into the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Upper Canada, but was later rebuked and canceled

The Canadian Medical Association was finally established in 1867, where it united and governed the medical profession at a national level.
Dr. Charles Tupper was it's first president Canada's First Modern Hospitals The first modern hospitals in Canada were
born in the Victorian period

Montreal General Hospital was established in 1819 to compensate for the city's fast growing population by charities, leaders, and humanitarian citizens
-started with 72 beds on 2 floors, large for 19th c. standards

Four doctors working at Montreal General founded Canada's
first medical school - Montreal Medical Institution in 1823
-the hospital also became the first in North America to
conduct clinical teaching in Victorian Canada no gloves or masks instruments only wiped
on a towel; not cleaned hands and clothes not
sterilized unclean water used surgeons wore everyday
frock coats The patient was also awake during operations making complicated surgeries impossible and extremely agonizing. Louis Pasteur discovered bacilli, a class of bacteria, the source of many diseases in 1857. The discovery of the following allowed for safer operations and saw the decrease in death rates after surgery. Doctors now better understood the spread of diseases and unnecessary deaths could be prevented Dr. David Parker of Halifax was the first to use anesthesia during surgery in Canada Building on Pasteur's work, German researcher Robert Koch
found that germs also cause diptheria, typhoid, and tuberculosis 1834, William Kelly advocates that poor sanitation is the cause of disease Joseph Lister used carbolic acid as an antiseptic starting 1867 These discoveries were adopted in Canada and put in use in our hospitals Resistance among the doctors to perform sterile surgery was strong, but antiseptic was reportedly used in both Montreal and
Toronto General Hospitals by 1869 Later, local health boards were established to enforce sanitation laws

The use of ether and chloroform as anesthetics were became common protocol

The use of clean water among other sanitary practices were encouraged to prevent the spread of disease

The air, wounds, tools, and dressing would be sprayed and
sterilized, dropping mortality rates after surgery to 15% 1 in 4 patients died
after surgery ^ The York General Hospital was built during the war of
1812 as a military hospital for soldiers. It reopened
after the war as a proper modern hospital in 1829

By the end of the 19th c. hospitals in Canada
were firmly established and administering
good care. Doctors were proficient and
surgery was tremendously
improved. Medical students at Mcgill 1884 Operating room Toronto/York General Surgery at M.G.H Ambulence Nurses of 1894 MGH Montreal General ward M Operating room MGH 1894 Children's ward 1894 Bibliography http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/articles/history-of-medicine
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