Thoughts from Class

Pre-Write Assignment:


Medicine- the hypodermic needle has very positively impacted medicine and the prevention of disease, it is much more effective in treating diseases than earlier methods, and has given way to opportunities for other things such as drawing blood, I.V. for people who are sick or need medicine, etc.

Globalization(?)- Needles are used worldwide to help with the prevention of disease and treatment of illnesses.

Not progress:

Environment- Needles are often just thrown away and go to the landfill, when many of their parts are partially or completely (such as stainless steel) recyclable. This has a negative impact on the environment. Hospitals incinerate needles, and this process is also harmful to the environment, releasing chemicals into the air.

Child labor- Some parts of the needle come from areas where child labor is used.

The hypodermic needle has progressed medicine in combating disease, treating illness, and other things, while having a negative impact on the environment. Most household sharps are disposed of into a sharps container which then goes to the landfill, and needles at hospitals are incinerated. Both of these negatively impact the environment. The incineration process is to prevent the spread of illness/disease, but releases chemicals into the air.

The most interesting thing that I have learned about were the early practices used for disease prevention. The methods that were used, such as cutting a small slit in a person’s arm and then taking matter from a “ripe pustule” and placing it in that slit, were fascinating. The differences between these earlier methods of disease prevention and the modern ones (which use a needle) are very compelling. The needle has made disease prevention a lot safer, and has made it a “medical” practice, rather than one that anyone can perform themselves at home. This transition from earlier methods to the use of the needle shows the progression of medicine in an eye-opening way, since most people don’t think twice when getting an injection about what may have come before the needle. The hypodermic needle is such a common tool..


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