In 1847, Dr. Semmelweis, a Jewish Hungarian doctor, began to sound the alarm in Vienna that women were needlessly dying in hospitals after childbirth due to the negligence of doctors, who routinely performed autopsies and other medical procedures without “bothering” to wash their hands between procedures. Unfortunately, Semmelweis’s calls for handwashing were rejected and mocked by his colleagues. He became severely depressed, and he was involuntarily committed to an insane asylum, where he died at the age of 47.
Google is celebrating physician Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis and hand washing with a new Doodle.
Semmelweis was appointed Chief Resident in the maternity clinic of Vienna General Hospital in 1847 when he discovered the medical benefits of hand washing and how it reduces the transmission of diseases.
Google’s homepage features artwork of Semmelweis next to a play button. Pushing the button starts an instructional video on how to properly wash your hands based on recommendations from the World Health Organization….