Local authority hospital at the cutting edge
The new hospital, Kommunehospitalet, was sited between the lake Sortedamssøen and the ramparts of the city. The military authorities had granted dispensation for the vast building in the former military border zone. The architect Christian Hansen, who supervised…
An end to porridge
The porridge was simmering in the small tea kitchens of Kommunehospitalet. It was not destined for consumption, but would be applied as hot compresses to infected wounds. Infections were a mystery and difficult to treat. In 1884, a doctor suggested introducing clean white coats in the operating theatres. The hospital governors were sceptical: why get rid of the old jackets that were adequate for everyday use? But times were changing with the discovery of bacteria, and just a few years later all instruments were boiled to kill the invisible sources of infection. It was now understood that clean hands, instruments and surroundings were essential for the survival of the patients. The number of post-operative infections decreased, and the porridge kitchens disappeared.
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