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Best Medical Inventions of the 1920s

Updated on April 27, 2017

The Roaring 20s

Band Aids came out in the 1920s and have helped treat wounds for over 90 years and counting.
Band Aids came out in the 1920s and have helped treat wounds for over 90 years and counting. | Source
The discovery of Vitamin E was a big deal back in the roaring 20's. It's taken in pill form, liquid or in certain foods.
The discovery of Vitamin E was a big deal back in the roaring 20's. It's taken in pill form, liquid or in certain foods. | Source
Cotton Swabs or Q Tips have been used to treat wounds and clean ears for decades.
Cotton Swabs or Q Tips have been used to treat wounds and clean ears for decades. | Source

Top 10 Medical Advancements of The 20s

1. Insulin Discovered (1923): This hormone is produced by cells found in the pancreas. They help regulate fat metabolism in your body. This is where everyone is different. Why you can have skinny people eat a lot and not seem to gain any weight? I also don't understand how really skinny people can be diabetic some to the point of being what is called "A Brittle Diabetic." The most common use of insulin is for patients who have diabetes. If the insulin is not used as directed by your doctor then you are gambling with all kinds of future health problems. Diabetes effects the entire body. It can effect every thing from eyes, liver, kidneys, blood sugar, it can make you feel bad if your blood sugar is not just right. Diabetics are known to have problems with circulation, restless legs, neuropathy as well as, the increased risk that they have for losing toes, a foot, next a leg. These, of course, are extreme cases but, thanks to the discovery of insulin, there have been a lot less cases of amputation or amputation is delayed for the patient.

2. Anemia Treatment Found (1920): Anemia is a common problem that is found among women. This can happen when your B-12 level and iron levels are low. One reason that is can happen is during a woman's menstrual cycle. You can take B-12 shots or B-12 pills which can be purchased over the counter. Commonly given to women once a month some women give the shots to themselves and some go to the doctor each month to have the shot given to them. The dosage for B12 shot is 1000mcg. These shots do tend to make me feel better when I was able to get one.

3. Band Aid Created (1921): A bandaid in my head after seeing it, seems like such a small simple invention. Bandaids help in so many ways but, the most important, that I would think would be the fact that bandaids help cut down on infection. They do this by keeping the open area covered and protected from germs. Bandaids are made with pictures of cartoon characters to appeal more to children and even some adult children would rather have a cute bandaid vs. a plain one. There are all different sizes. Some are waterproof. Bandaid has a cloth bandaid as well as more of a plastic one. Everybody has used a band aid at some point in their life and we all are glad we had one.

4. First Digital Surgery (1925): This is a type of fluoroscopy or dye that is used to clealy visualize blood vessels to see if there are any blockages or blood clots to ensure that blood is flowing freely in the heart. One thing that is very hard to do is to eat well when you are told to eat well. This test is used as a diagnostic test for doctors to determine whether there is a blockage or blood clot after this surgery.

5. Vitamin E Discovered (1922): I have found that Vitamin E is good for mouth ulcers. The fastest way to rid your mouth of painful ulcers is to take one Vitamin E pill and puncture it with a sterile straight pin (meaning cleaned with alcohol) after the alcohol has evaporated from the pin, pin to puncture the Vitamin E pill to get to the gel that is inside. Squeeze out the gel directly onto the ulcer. Now, I am going to be honest with you. The Vitamin E pill tastes very bad and it's very greasy. After one or two applications of the Vitamin E pill, the ulcer should be gone, or at least that has been my experience. With it's taste being so bad, if you can just stand to put it on at least twice, it will get significantly better.

6. Hearing Aid Invented (1920): A hearing aid is a vital piece of equipment for people with hearing problems. Some people have problems at birth, while some people may encounter an accident and lose hearing in one or both ears. Hearing aids can be surgically put in the ear for permanent use or there are hearing aids that are removable as well. Being deaf must be very hard. I am amazed when I try to watch someone do sign language.

7. Penicillin Discovered (1928): The discovery of Penicillin was a major medical find. Lives have been saved because of the viruses that are treated with this drug. One of the biggest things that Penicillin treats is Staphylococcus bacteria (infects skin grafts). There are a lot of people who are allergic to this drug now a days. This discovery seems plain now but it was an astonishing discovery at the time.

9. Cotton Swabs (1923): Cotton swabs have many, many different uses. They can be used to clean make-up from the face. they are gentle enough to use on babies. They are used in the medical field to place under a bandaid to keep the arm from bleeding. Cotton swabs are a great invention and also used in sewing to stuff a small pillow or a small stuffed animal. I think that the possibilities are endless when speaking of this item.

10. Innovations in Immunizations (1923): Bacteria became better controlled because of these discoveries that help in the immune system. With each discovery of a new vaccine, lives were being saved and hope to conquer diseases came from these times. When it comes to bacteria in foods this was a big deal because we have to be careful on what goes into our bodies.

Which is The Best Invention?

Which is the best medical invention of the 1920s?

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The Invention of The Band Aid

Inventions and Discoveries of The 20's

© 2013 Buster Johnson

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      Nova 4 months ago

      doing school stuff on this. Great source for research :)

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      Pansee 6 weeks ago

      To be honest, life is crazy. There's so many strange things that can occur and/or has occurred. The past is amazing and incredibly interesting if you pay close attention. Style, ways of living, living conditions, traditions, jobs, attitude, language, dialogue, education, marriage and so much more. But although we know so much of all events of the past, there is and always will be more. We barely know all the details of the past. Even if we had lived through the events. You may know from your own personal experience but do you REALLY know? Like...reeeeally know...like....really? You only know the basics. For example, a soldier in a war named Quince M. Lancer. Yes, you knew a gun went off, yes, you know someone was hot, yes, you know you aren't seen yet by the enemy's eye but you don't know everything. Did you ever think about that soldier over there? The one trembling in fear, gun shaking in his grasp of his white-knuckled hands, clammy with sweat? You are all there. All experiencing this. But you don't know the details. What's his name? You never took the time to wonder. Is he married? Is his beloved wife waiting desperately with a small infant, only months old and a small wobbly toddler, gentle and kind? How old was he? Just a young gentleman? Older with a beautiful daughter and sick wife that he's not home to protect? Or maybe he's a man from the streets? Or pulled out of high school? You'll never know. Did he want to fight? Did YOU want to be here, to be fighting for your country? To be taking the lives of others to protect your territory. You never took the time to wonder. To ponder. These are lives you were taking. Lives that you cannot simply replace. That all have a family and is beloved. All taken away with the flick of a finger and the trigger snaps back. And another life is gone for good. You ignored the man, crying behind the frigged crates. He's just another soldier, you thought. But now that you think of it, everyone here has a story of their own. You have a home. A nice sturdy cabin with a beautiful wife with hair down to her waist like an inky black wave and a chirping little daughter with a tangle of un-brushed golden curls, bouncing over her shoulders as she toddles over to you after a long day at the factory. And not everyone seemed to appreciate him enough, but you also have a spunky little lab with docked ears and a short nubby tail. His tongue was always hanging out, lolling with his goofy dog grin. He is the love of your daughter's life. Everyone has someone. Everyone has a reason to live. Every single person here with their lives at stake will be missed. Or maybe they will not be missed. But you will never know because YOU never THOUGHT. Quince was shot at 7:26 pm. Nobody stopped as he collapsed to the ground, defeated yet not gone. He had watching the members of the army run as the bullets flew. Everything was unfocused and blurry. A hot itch was blooming in his shoulder. Grimacing, he reached towards a soldier who was not on his side. An opposer. An enemy. Quince grabbed a loose piece of cloth from his pant leg. He stumbled but stayed upwards. With a quick flash of silver, there was a gun against Quince's forehead. The cool metal soothed his burning skin, aching and scorched with fever. The soldier growled at him and tightened his grip on the trigger.

      "Good luck. Go home to your loved ones. I hope you get to see them again." Quince gave a weak smile and released the soldier. The soldier did not hesitate and then, Quince was dead. The past is as unknown as the future.

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