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It’s 1847 and the death rate among pregnant women in the obstetric clinics where the Viennese physician Ignaz Semmelweis works is high. Puerperal fever, which is an infection of the female reproductive organs following childbirth, is a common cause of death and is almost seen as inevitable by medics at the time. However, a worrying trend in the clinics which Semmelweis supervises in Vienna catches his eye. Semmelweis came to the conclusion that the students carried something from the mortuary where they carried out autopsies of the women they examined. He ordered the students to wash their hands with chlorinated lime solution before every examination. Almost immediately, the mortality rate fell from 18 percent to one percent.