|Posted on January 24, 2012 at 12:10 AM|
There has been a lot of talk in the news lately, especially from politicians, about a time not so long ago when things were better, less complicated, idyllic.
To look at the past through rose-colored glasses is certainly understandable, given the uncertainty of the times we're living in and our division over the war, politics, and whether or not Kim Kardashian should get a butt reduction. Some notions from only twenty years ago may seem quaint by today's standards, but just how rosy is the past, really?
By health and medical standards, not very. Medical science is a progression where looking backward is only a tool for comparing data and measuring what works and what does not. Many soldiers who survived the Civil War lived the rest of their lives with breaks and fractures that never healed correctly or with infections that made them susceptible to other illnesses or left them crippled.
This was largely due in part to the fact that there were no antibiotics during the Civil War and small infections often led to serious illness. There was also no anesthetic. Often the cure for a broken limb was amputation via a dirty hand saw. The overwhelming numbers of wounded soldiers left no time for sanitation and limited water supplies didn't allow for handwashing between procedures.
In the 20th century, there were many advancements in medicine: the discovery of penicillin, development of vitamin supplements, development and use of X-rays, development and medical use of insulin to treat diabetics, advances in cancer treatment, and placebo controlled, randomized, blinded clinical trials, but to name a few.
Clinical trials conducted at PRN of Kansas and other medical research facilities worldwide are heavily regulated to help ensure the safety and privacy of the individuals who choose to participate in them. It has been through trial and error over the last couple of centuries since the earliest controlled medical studies began that we have reached this point, an era where participating in clinical trials has never been safer.
The latest statistics support that people in the 21st century are living, and will live longer than those in previous generations due to the breakthroughs of medical science. While it may be tempting to long for a simpler time where we were less connected and words like multitasking hadn't yet been coined to replace the expression "working your fingers to the bone", it is helpful to remember that the simple life was not always so simple. And although there is still so much more to do, especially for Cancer, Obesity, and A.I.D.S research, we are still much further along than we were.