Frankenstein or Semmelweis?

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For a long time, I thought that hand hygiene just has to be made sexy in order to make health care workers more interested in it.
Since yesterday morning I know: The topic should be treated with brain, heart and black humor. This became clear to me after the first few sentences of Prof. Wolfgang Graninger (infectiologist), who held the entry speech of yesterdays’ event at the ministry of health in occasion of the International Day of Hand Hygiene. And this feeling increased in the course of the lecture. He earned hundred percent audience attention. The people in the hall were attentive, no noise was audible, except hearty laughs in between.
Prof. Graninger has been honored as an excellent speaker for his lectures at the Meduni Vienna, and his performances on television are legendary.
At the event yesterday, he spoke on the subject of “Sepsis – 200 years after Semmelweis”.
He expressed his regret that the subject of hand hygiene is still so neglected and that we Austrians do not much appreciate Ignaz Semmelweis. Yes, there are a few statues in Vienna, which are reminiscent of the great pioneer of hand hygiene – but apparently there is no money for cleaning supplies (dirt layer at the monument in the Spitalgasse*) and regarding the Semmelweis relief in the arcade court of the University you do not know whether it is here about Frankenstein or about Semmelweis. Yes, that’s what it’s up to – to call things by their name, to dare oneself. Thank you, Prof. Graninger for this humorous talk.

*On the initiative of the Semmelweis Foundation and the Medicine University Vienna the place around the monument ist now renovated – it will be inaugurated in early June.

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About Author

Carola Timmel is journalist for print and radio and professional speaker. Her focus lies on the topic Medicine & Health.