I have 2 peer discussions that I have to reply to.. 150 words How have bacterial and infectious diseases impacted patients and patient care at Bellevue? Today when we think about patient care, we a

I have 2 peer discussions that I have to reply to.. 150 words

How have bacterial and infectious diseases impacted patients and patient care at Bellevue?

Today when we think about patient care, we almost take for granted some of the normal hospital practices that occur, such as sterilization and cleanliness that help to eliminate hospital acquired infections.  However, these concepts and fundamentals were almost, if nearly, non-existence in the mid to late 1800s in America and at Bellevue hospital.  During the civil war, there are accounts of rats roaming around freely at Bellevue and surgeons performing procedures without the simple practice of washing their hands. (Oshinsky, 2016).

After a little over a decade, Welch had a strong desire to change practices at Bellevue to include the use of antiseptic procedures developed by Lister and the promote study of pathology.  There were some physicians at Bellevue who believed in Welch’s teachings, but there were many physicians at Bellevue who met him with extreme resistance. (Oshinsky, 2016).  When scientific evidence is presented to a group of medical professionals that can help improve patient care and they still refuse to change their practice, they can directly lead to harming the patient and potentially spreading infections to others.

Even as Bellevue began to become scrutinized in public eye for contributing the death of President Garfield, physicians at Bellevue were more focused on deflecting criticism, then taking accountability for the part they played in his demise.  Bellevue demonstrating a stubbornness in adopting routine antiseptic techniques time and time again, led them to put patients in direct harm and impacting patient care.


Oshinsky, D. M. (2016). Bellevue: Three centuries of medicine and mayhem at America’s most storied hospital. Doubleday.

Example of reply

Hi Rene,

I liked how you included the fact of how unsanitary were the times of civil war provided the rats roaming around and doctors performing treatments with dirty hands and unsterilized needles. It was necessary for them to understand how sanitation is linked with treating the wound without infection and further damage.

It was clear about the fact that how stubborn the doctors were being regarding the use of antiseptics and accepting the germ theory. And yes, there stubbornness not only led to the death of the president but also affected the lives of many who came to Bellevue for receiving the care they looked for.

It is understandable that the fact of a huge disease that killed thousands was caused by a tiny organism that could not even be visible with naked eyes was difficult to digest. But sanitation’s importance should not have been neglected. In the times of learning and exploring, an new insight such as germ theory was not something the doctors should have been ignoring.

2.The civil war made lots of staffs divided among the hospitals and the war field. News could be heard everywhere on people missing and dead. Streets were filled with people with scars, wounds, and loss of arms or legs. The staffs were helpless in the field due to the lack of equipments and required materials to treat the war victims. During the 1860s, the most common illnesses included phthisis (tuberculosis), pneumonia and diarrhea. About half of these patients would be discharged within two weeks, regardless of the diagnosis. Unlike the almshouse days, almost no one turned a stop at Bellevue into an indefinite stay.

Then, Joseph Lister came to America following the discovery of Louis Pasteur on how microorganisms, “germs” were the cause of infectious diseases. This theory when difficult to be accepted by most physicians, still brought positive changes in the field of medicine. Use of antiseptic was started as the idea of keeping the wounds clean and germ-free. The initial practices of keeping the wounds open so that the pus would flow out and the wound would be healed itself, using unsterilized needles, were challenged by the germ theory.

While treating President, James A. Garfield, no attention was paid to infection of the wound and the treatment was done with dirt hands in a rush. Later the infection led to led to hid death. This incident also proved the importance of germ theory and antiseptics in treating wounds and scars.

Later, sterilizing had become one of the most important things in the hospital. Antiseptic routine to guide each operation at Bellevue was developed.

example of reply

Hey Smiriti,

I liked that you spoke on the method used before they challenged the germ theory which was to leave the wound open so it can heal itself. It shows how medicine really did evolve. Looking at how medicine is now and the standards to in place for patient’s safety its hard to believe how one theory regarding germs can have such a huge impact on Bellevue. By finally recognizing the harm those small organisms were doing Bellevue was able to fix the problem. It just had a little bit of time but like noted in the book the difference in time it took to sanitize was worth it (Oshinsky, 2016). I also like how one theory was able to start other avenues to expand knowledge by introducing pathology classes which also brought awareness to that field. Knowledge really is power and the doctors at Bellevue are always able to back that saying and this this particular time regarding infectious diseases.

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