Penicillin was accidentally discovered at St. Mary’s Hospital, London in 1929 by Dr. Alexander Fleming. As test continued, Fleming began to realize that he was on the verge of a great discovery.
However, he still did not know the identity of the fungus, and had little knowledge of fungi. His crude extracts could be diluted 1, 000 times and still be effective in killing bacteria. After years of working on penicillin and going nowhere, many of his co-workers grew tired of hearing about it. The first real test for penicillin came when a 48-year-old police officer nicked himself shaving. After a time, Alexander’s face became infected and he developed a temperature. When he was rushed to the hospital, the doctors believed that he had only hours to live.
Then Dr Fleming and his crew started to treat this patient. This was the first person that penicillin was used on. After five days, he was getting better. Unfortunately, because it was in such short supply, it had to be extracted from his urine, and the penicillin had been used up. The police officer died five days later.
Their next attempt was successful. It involved a punctured eye. The stone was still in the eye, and normally the eye would have been amputated, but penicillin allowed the man to make a full recovery. By this time, it was now 1941, it was now acknowledged that penicillin was indeed a worthwhile drug and could save thousands of lives. During I, death rate from pneumonia in the American Army totaled 18%. In World War II, it fell to less than 1%.
One illness after another, that was tested, was cured by penicillin, which was by this time dubbed a ‘wonder drug.’ In addition to pneumonia and blood poisoning, the major causes of death, in hospitals, during the war, strep throat, scarlet fever, diphtheria, syphilis, gonorrhea, meningitis, tonsillitis, rheumatic fever, and many other diseases were successfully treated with penicillin. Penicillin brought about the biggest search in medical history. It was reasoned that if there was one antibiotic in nature, there must be many more, and there were. If anything should be taken off of the Basic’s List, it should be Social Darwinism. Social Darwinism is simply survival of the fittest. This a simple view, and is not practiced much very often.
Penicillin on the other hand, has saved thousands, if not millions of lives, and started its own medical revolution to seek for new cures to other things as well. World War II turning points are much more important than penicillin. If there were not any breaks for the American troops, then there would have been many more lives lost in the war than needed. Possibly, there would be more lives lost in the fighting than saved by penicillin in its fist two decades of public use. Penicillin has helped save many lives throughout the years.
It has cured things like strep throat, which many people have had in their lives, syphilis, and gonorrhea. It also sparked a new wave of medical research and discoveries of many antibodies. Works Cited web.