Hospital infections in Birmingham, England, in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries

  • C.R. Bradley
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author. Address: Hospital Infection Research Laboratory, Department of Clinical Microbiology, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2GW, UK. Tel.: +44 121 371 6070; fax: +44 121 371 5974.
    Affiliations
    Hospital Infection Research Laboratory, Department of Clinical Microbiology, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Edgbaston, Birmingham, UK
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  • Author Footnotes
    † Deceased. This article was begun by Professor Ayliffe and the week before he died he asked me if I would help him finish it. I think it is a fitting tribute to him that this, his last article, has now been published.
    G.A.J. Ayliffe
    Footnotes
    † Deceased. This article was begun by Professor Ayliffe and the week before he died he asked me if I would help him finish it. I think it is a fitting tribute to him that this, his last article, has now been published.
    Affiliations
    Hospital Infection Research Laboratory, Department of Clinical Microbiology, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Edgbaston, Birmingham, UK
    Search for articles by this author
  • Author Footnotes
    † Deceased. This article was begun by Professor Ayliffe and the week before he died he asked me if I would help him finish it. I think it is a fitting tribute to him that this, his last article, has now been published.
      The eighteenth-century Midlands Enlightenment saw the sudden emergence of the English city of Birmingham at the forefront of worldwide developments in science, technology, medicine, philosophy, and natural history. This was the beginning of a massive growth in population that continued through to the twentieth century. The population of 24,000 in 1750 grew to 73,000 by the end of the eighteenth century, to 140,000 by 1841 and to more than 500,000 by the end of the nineteenth century [
      • Upton C.
      A history of Birmingham.
      ]. This population growth led to overcrowding, poor sanitation and an increased need for hospitals, particularly in the industrial areas. However, hospitals built during this period often proved inadequate for the requirements.

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