SMA Centennial

Penicillin Is 65 Years Old!

Authors: Ronald C. Hamdy, MD, FACP, FRCP

Abstract

The discovery of penicillin marked a turning point in history and dramatically changed the impact of medicine. It is hard to comprehend now the fear that arose from even a minor infection, as treatment often required the lancing of swollen glands and sometimes amputation, in an attempt to save the patient's life. Death from even minor infections was common. The advent of penicillin changed not only the course of medicine, but of society as well, as it permitted physicians to prescribe a medication that could save lives within a few days of its administration.

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