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Sold Out Medical History Congress Discusses Women in Medicine and the Origin of the Saline Drip

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06 Sep 2017

The role of women in medicine and Scotland’s contribution to medicine are among the themes of a major conference next week. Highlights include the story of the forgotten Leith physician who pioneered saline drips now used in every hospital.

The British Society for the History of Medicine (BSHM) is holding its biennial congress at the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSEd).

BSHM President Iain Macintyre said: “It’s the largest congress we have had in many years. It sold out seven weeks ago and we have delegates from as far away as New Zealand, Australia, the USA, Kazakhstan and Namibia.

“We have a very exciting programme. It’s timely to look back at the women in medicine, just two months away from the centenary of the death of the great Edinburgh pioneer Elsie Inglis.

“Thomas Latta was the Leith doctor who first introduced intravenous saline solution in 1832 to treat patients in a terrible cholera epidemic. He got very little recognition at the time and even less since. But his idea revolutionised medicine and is still in daily use today.”

RCSEd President Michael Lavelle-Jones said: “We’re delighted to welcome so many medical historians. We share their passion – our College has a rich history and has been at the centre of key international developments in the development of surgery and medicine over the last 300 years.”

The congress runs from Wednesday 13 to Saturday 16 September 2017.

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