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The story of disinfectants(1)

"Disinfectants" in the medical field have become commonplace. Especially under the COVID-19 epidemic, it is indispensable. It exists for hygiene control. But it wasn't long ago that hospitals became truly hygienic. That's because there was a long way to go before the idea of ​​disinfection was discovered, disseminated, and established.

According to a 2014 survey, the average life expectancy of Japanese people is 86 years for women and 80 years for men. Women live longer than men, and this tendency is common in developed countries. There may be various factors involved, but basically the life expectancy given to women is thought to be several years longer for women than for men.

However, looking at the average life expectancy per 1900, for example, men were 43 years old and women were 44 years old, and women's life expectancy was relatively shorter than it is now. This is due to the fact that at that time there was a great risk of life at the time of childbirth.

By about 1900, 400 per 100,000 pregnant women, or 1 in 250, died during childbirth in Japan. In 1950 this was 160 per 100,000 and is now down to 3 per 100,000. This is an amazing rate of decrease. In addition, the number of births per person in a lifetime has decreased significantly, so it is almost impossible to talk about losing lives at the time of childbirth.

Many of the causes of a woman's death shortly after childbirth are a disease called puerperal fever. "Postpartum" is originally a bed used at the time of childbirth, and refers to the period from immediately after childbirth until the mother recovers. Postpartum fever is a condition in which fever of 38 ° C or higher continues for 2 days or more within 10 days of browning after 24 hours after the end of labor. The cause of this is the invasion of bacteria from the detached surface of the placenta and the lacerations caused by childbirth. 』\

Symptoms include fever and cough, severe headaches, and in some cases, bloating to the point of thinking that she was pregnant again, and after suffering for several days, she died. In a sense, this illness is more tragic than any other illness, snarling at the most wonderful moment of life, giving birth, to a loved one.
According to Buddhist legend, Mrs. Maya, who gave birth to Buddha two thousand and several hundred years ago, died seven days after giving birth. Many sources attribute this to puerperal fever. Such stories can be found in various old stories.

For example, in Rome BC, Julius, the daughter of Julius Caesar, also died at birth. Julia was married to military commander Pompey according to her father's policy, but despite the age difference of over 20 years old, it is said that the couple had a very good relationship. He played a role in acting as an intermediary between two important people, Caesar and Pompey. However, this Yuria dies with the girls born.

After Yuria's death, Caesar and Pompey gradually deepened their conflict, and five years later they finally entered a civil war. Caesar wins the battle and establishes a path to revolutionize the deadlocked Republic of Rome. If there was a concept of disinfectant in this era and Julia was in the world, this Roman history might have changed considerably.

Even the women of the royal family, who should have been able to give birth under the best conditions at the time, were in a worse situation for the general public because of this situation.
Then, this disease, which has occurred sporadically, will occur outbreaks after people become densely populated with urbanization. The first case occurred in a hospital in Paris in the mid-17th century. The hospital's policy was to accept all poor women and treat them indiscriminately, so the number of patients coming in was hopelessly huge. ..
A large number of fleas and lice settled on the sheets, which were rarely washed, and several people were laid down in one bed. Surgery was often performed in a room crowded with large numbers of patients, rather than in a separate room. The water used in the hospital was drawn directly from the Seine, where all the sewage in Paris flows untreated.
In my current sense, it would be strange that this would not cause any infectious disease, but at that time there was no concept of bacteria, let alone the occurrence of puerperal fever and this hygienic environment. There are many such conditions in other cities, and puerperal fever has become an epidemic that spreads throughout Europe and the United States. It is said that in 1772, when the epidemic peaked, one in five pregnant women was killed by the disease.
This situation did not improve significantly until the mid-19th century. The cause is still unknown, and although there are various theories such as the miasma rising from the body of a pregnant woman, the decay of the tissue remaining in the uterus during delivery, and the alteration of breast milk, there was no definitive decision.

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