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Origins and History of Acute

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					                                                     Origins and History of Acute Hospitals
                                                     A number of European hospitals can trace their roots back to the
                                                     twelfth century. These were typically founded by religious orders,
                                                     and usually formed part of an almshouse for the poor and infirm.
                                                     By the late eighteenth century, similar institutions were
                                                     becoming more common in larger towns and cities as the process
                                                     of urbanization and industrialization began to gather pace in
                                                     Europe andNorth America. However, these hospitals were still
                                                     seen as places of death, disease, and destitution from which few
                                                     emerged alive, and were shunned by the wealthy (who were
                                                     treated at home by their physicians and surgeons).This bleak
                                                     picturewas transformed during the nineteenth century as the
                                                     concepts of hygiene and antisepsis and the beginnings of modern
                                                     anesthesia
                                                     delivered startling improvements in patient survival, so that
hospitals began to be seen as a place of safety and healing, rather than a place for the indigent to die. This
transformation was complete by themiddle of the twentieth century, as effective antimicrobials greatly reduced the
risks of infection, and advances in therapeutic technology steadily improved the clinical outcomes that patients could
expect to receive from hospital treatment. Indeed, by the end of the twentieth century, calls for a reduced reliance on
hospital care and a concern that acute hospitals may overmedicalize the natural processes of birth, aging, and dying,
had become commonplace in many countries.

				
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