Tag Archives: midwifery

Traditional obstetrics in Isaan, Thailand

Khwan Phusrisom Durham, United Kingdom   Fig 1. The house in which I was born. Births were in a living room, far left. The natal hearth was under the roofed veranda. Sketch by author, ©. May be reproduced for non-commercial purpose Traditional midwifery and the culture of birth in Isaan, Northeast Thailand, may hold lessons for the prevention […]

A surgeon and a gentleman: the life of James Barry

Mariel Tishma Chicago, Illinois, United States   Dr. James Barry with John, a servant, and his dog, Psyche. Unknown Artist. c1850.   “Do not consider whether what I say is a young man speaking, but whether my discussion with you is that of a man of understanding.”1 – Dedication of the thesis of James Barry In November of 1809, […]

James Simpson, who made childbirth painless

A large jolly man with broad shoulders, large hands, blue eyes, and a charismatic personality, James Young Simpson was said to have been the most popular man in Edinburgh since the death of Sir Walter Scott.1 Born in 1811 at Bathgate, he was the seventh son of a village baker in a poor family housed in […]

Alexander Gordon and puerperal fever

C. John Scott Aberdeen, Scotland     Plaque on Gordon’s house in Aberdeen The epidemic of childbed (puerperal) fever that struck the city of Aberdeen, Scotland, between December 1789 and March 1792 was unusual. It occurred not in the dirty, crowded, and ill-ventilated wards of lying-in hospitals, but throughout the city and surrounding villages. Serendipitously, […]