COLONIAL AMERICAN MEDICINE by Susan Neiburg Terkel

COLONIAL AMERICAN MEDICINE

Age Range: 10 - 13
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Medical practice in early America could be torture: Washington succumbed after blistering, purging, and having half his blood removed, the best care in an era ``marked by ignorant theories, ineffective treatments, a scarcity of trained physicians, poor sanitation, and frightening epidemics.'' Meanwhile, knowledge of anatomy and the causes of disease were minimal (as one doctor observed, ``it is better to let nature...take her course than to trust to the honesty and sagacity of the practitioner''). Medicines ranged from herbs and chicken soup to human waste; anesthesia, sterilization, and immunization were unknown. Anyone could and did practice medicine without control. Terkel covers medicine's progress from the Jamestown settlement through the 18th century--a period that saw the opening of medical schools and hospitals, the beginnings of preventive medicine and of inoculation and vaccination, and improved sanitation and nutrition. Though still far from modern standards, the colonists made great progress in less than 200 years. From a solid new series, Colonial America, a fascinating book that inspires gratitude for contemporary medicine. B&w illustrations; appendix; source notes; glossary; bibliography; index. (Nonfiction. 10-13)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-531-12539-4
Page count: 112pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 1993




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