Hypodermic Needle MASC source

Buchan, William. Domestic Medicine: Or, a Treatise on the Prevention and Cure of Diseases by Regimen and Simple Medicines : with an Appendix, Containing a Dispensatory for the Use of Private Practitioners. 14th ed., London, A. Strahan and T. Cadell, 1794.

This was a fascinating source that included very interesting and relevant information to needles and the history of vaccination, or as it used to be referred to, inoculation. This source explained how inoculation is a practice that has been used for hundreds of years to try and protect people from disease. One disease that this source was particularly focused on was smallpox, and how it was inoculated against. Various methods of vaccination were described in the source, such as opening a bit of the skin with a needle, and putting viral matter from a “ripe pustule” into the wound. Another method described was to run a thread with smallpox matter through the skin between the thumb and forefinger, or to rub the matter on the thumb or forefinger or other parts of the body. This information was very interesting when compared to the modern practices of vaccinations, which involve injecting matter from a weakened virus into the skin with the use of a hypodermic needle and syringe. Also, this information is helpful in illustrating the evolution of vaccination, demonstrating the impact that the hypodermic needle has had on the medical field. This source relates to the source about Christopher Wren, who was the first person to perform experiments with a hypodermic needle and syringe. Comparing these two sources brings attention to how the hypodermic needle has changed practices. A question that was generated from this source was “how do these earlier methods of vaccination (or inoculation) compare to the modern methods?”. Also, “what other early methods were used to protect people against disease?”.

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