Flushing toilet takes medical prize

January 19, 2007

Public sanitation, including the flushing toilet, was picked as the greatest medical breakthrough since 1840 in an international poll released in London.

Antibiotics received the second-highest number of votes in the British Medical Journal Poll of 11,000 respondents, The Times of London reported.

Medical professionals picked anesthesia as most important, The Times said.

But Adam Hart-Davis, author and host of the BBC series "What the Victorians Did for Us," told The Times that sanitation deserved to win.

"Contamination of drinking water is still the single biggest killer in the world and it always has been," he said. "As such, the humble lavatory is the greatest device ever invented in medical history."

The winner was announced at an awards ceremony in London, where doctors and scientists praised each medical milestone. Other contenders for the prize included DNA and vaccines.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: Patients benefit from tranexamic acid in surgery, withholding blood pressure meds before

Related Stories

Maternal blood test may predict birth complications

October 24, 2016

A protein found in the blood of pregnant women could be used to develop tests to determine the health of their babies and aid decisions on early elective deliveries, according to an early study led by Queen Mary University ...

New study to tackle ADHD in young prisoners

October 10, 2016

A new study led by researchers from King's College London, the University of Edinburgh and Imperial College London, will investigate whether a drug called methylphenidate (MPH) reduces symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity ...

Recommended for you

Want to exercise more? Get yourself some competition

October 27, 2016

Imagine you're a CEO trying to get your employees to exercise. Most health incentive programs have an array of tools—pamphlets, websites, pedometers, coaching, team activities, step challenges, money—but what actually ...

Sleep loss tied to changes of the gut microbiota in humans

October 25, 2016

Results from a new clinical study conducted at Uppsala University suggest that curtailing sleep alters the abundance of bacterial gut species that have previously been linked to compromised human metabolic health. The new ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.