Beating Books: How Florence Nightingale changed medicine using statistics and a ‘rose chart’


During the Crimean War, hospitals in those days were not the only places to be cured or to be cured because they were the place where the casualties died. Scutari Hospital in Turkey was one such example. Converted by the British from the concentration camps, Scutari ran out of space, from the toilet to the air, and this “hospital” became a tool to prevent many infectious diseases – until Florence Nightingale and her team of volunteer nurses arrived in 1854.

Maladies of the Kingdom Author Jim Downs highlights the extent to which modern medical products are loaded with the worst human side effects, even though above, Downs shows how the unwavering courage of a single mother and a quick record helped to establish a therapeutic component.

Belknap Press

Mentioned from KINGDOM INSTRUCTIONS: HOW COLONY, SLAVERY, AND WAR CHANGED MEDICINE written by JIM DOWNS, published by The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. Copyright © 2021 by Harvard College President and Youth. Use of permission. All rights reserved.


While in Scutari, Nightingale developed a history-tracking system at various Barrack Hospital and the nearby General Hospital. He lists everything from cleanliness to quantity to food to the establishment of toilets and cemeteries.

He also carefully examined the area. He took great care of the size of the rooms, the roof, the color, the size, and the windows. In his book on the health of the British military, such as Thomas Trotter and others who wrote about the need for fresh air, he described the problem of fresh air, and gave the whole section “fresh air.” He was quoting a report from the Sanitation Commission, which described the “air crisis” at Barrack Hospital. There were only “small holes here and there,” so there was no way for the “hot and bad” air to escape. As a follower of miasma theory, he believes that the disease spreads through the air and promotes fresh air to expel “bad air” from hospitals.

In addition to the lack of adequate ventilation, Nightingale described the drainage and drainage ditches and plumbing. In his testimony to the royal committee, Nightingale also spoke of the filth he found in Barrack’s hospital upon his arrival. “Monitoring … for several months, more than an inch, is dangerous to explain.” He saw six dead dogs under one window, and the dead horse had been lying in the gutter for weeks. The drinking water was filthy; he once saw uniforms used in the hospital. Rats and insects multiplied, and “the walls and ceilings were filled with natural elements.”

Concluding his health report from the British Armed Forces, he stated, “We have more to clean up the Crimean military than we have, but because it is a complete test (history is not the same) the military, having failed to reduce the number of diseases and disasters due to neglect, wake up healthy more and more I direct to the hospital.

“It’s a total experiment on a very large scale.” He also noted that during the first seven months of the Crimean campaign, more people died than the 1665 plague and more recent cholera. we had … deaths among our patients more than happened among our Guards at home. ”

Drawing on military casualties, as well as domestic casualties, Nightingale showed that between 1839 and 1853, military casualties were much higher than civilian men: “out of 10,000 soldiers [at the age of 20], 7,077 are 39 years old, of which 135 die next year; while out of 10,000 civilians aged 20, 8,253 are 39, and of those 106 die at birth. “Almost all the deaths among the soldiers were due to illness; “Real losses in war are only a small part of the suffering that results from a long war.” Nightingale identified the causes of death as “zymotic disease” (which in the nineteenth century referred to infectious diseases such as malaria, measles, and cholera), “tuberculosis and tuberculosis,” and “all other diseases (including death”. violent). ” Nightingale was an opponent of the disease-fighting system. At the bottom of the chart, he says, “Influenza and influenza have no place in the armed forces. The long-term recurrence of catarrh is believed to be phthisis, in most cases; a serious illness understands the epidemic, or influenza and tuberculosis.”

Nightingale provided statistics using charts, tables, and diagrams, which are just beginning to appear in research reports, so that readers can see the comparisons they are making. He created a new diagram, called the “rose chart,” also known as the coxcomb chart or the area above, to describe the deaths from the Crimea War. Each chart, which is classified as a pie, shows data from one year, with segments representing months. Each section is divided into black groups whose area is equal to the number of deaths.

One-third of those who die from wounds, the second category of “disease-preventing or degenerative zymotic disorders,” and the third category for all other causes. A brief look at the death charts from April 1854 to March 1855 and April 1855 to March 1856 is enough to show that more people die from disease than from war, and that all deaths have decreased in the second year.

To highlight the dangers of unsanitary hospitals, Nightingale collected the deaths of matrons, nuns, and nurses working in London’s 15 hospitals that had died of “zymotic diseases” of malaria and cholera. He presented the tables, which William Farr is said to have written to show, showing that the death toll by the nurses was much higher than that of women in London; In addition, women who work in hospitals are more likely to die from zymotic disorders than other women. He used these statistics to confirm the “critical importance” of hygiene in hospitals. “Loss of a well-trained nurse by prevention [sic] wrote, “a greater loss than that which befell a good soldier for the same reason. Money cannot replace all of this, but a good nurse is harder to obtain than a good soldier.”

In his book The Notes on Hospitals, he recounts British prisoners who died in a crowded prison in India in 1756: produced so powerful a substance that, in the process, would destroy almost all the prisoners. Nightingale’s reference to the case is proof that it has been described as a metaphor for the need for fresh air. And the fact that it happened in India shows how British doctors used information from countries around the empire.

Because of his work with many patients in the Crimea War, Nightingale made his analysis as a pathologist, according to the population. They focus on how the disease spreads in the community. He used his powers not to change beds or dressing gowns but to study how hospitals operate, to analyze statistics, and to see how they can increase air quality.

The war gave him the opportunity to compare the number of deaths in various locations: overcrowded hospitals, tents, and wooden houses. It also highlighted the importance of preventive measures, one of the major challenges of modern medicine. Publishing his observations, insights, and recommendations for hospital follow-up, he hopes to provide guidelines and guidelines that physicians can follow to prevent the spread of the disease. Despite efforts to ensure that hygiene as a means of self-defense dates back to the Mesopotamian and Sanskrit writings from 2000 BCE, Nightingale’s warnings, in particular, and the rehabilitation of hygiene, in particular, led to a dramatic change in the nineteenth century. This transformed military medicine from a business that focused on care and surgery into one that began to question and challenge.

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