[History by Numbers] Tried and tested
Another piece of medical history given brief treatment
I’ve written before about how Florence Nightingale was one of the pioneers of evidence-based medicine. This time, we’ll meet another, who was active a century earlier, as part of a quick historical tour of the clinical trial, another keystone of modern medical practice that has saved countless lives.
The pioneer in question is James Lind (1716–1794), a naval surgeon whose work improved sailors’ lives at sea immensely. Much of his work focused on how improved ventilation, sanitation and fumigation on board ship could help sailors be healthier. He is chiefly remembered, however, as the man who brought about the defeat of scurvy – although it took the Royal Navy about 50 years to implement his advice.