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Author Topic: I don't understand why my great-grandmother died of pneumonia  (Read 2400 times)

Offline SpaceShouldBeMilitarized

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My great-grandmother died of pneumonia in May 1942, she was only 47.  Her mother died six weeks before her, and on top of that her three sons, one of them my grandfather, were in the service getting ready to fight in the bloodiest war known to mankind. My grandmother, who was dating my grandfather at the time, said that his mother was in the hospital for about five weeks and that there was nothing they could do for her. I understand that penicillin and several other antibiotics were around at the time she was sick, so I ask this:  does anyone know why she could not be saved?  I read that pneumonia was basically a pre-1930 threat, and afterward, failed to kill people unless they were very very old. 


 

SteveFish

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I don't understand why my great-grandmother died of pneumonia
« Reply #1 on: 11/11/2010 03:02:35 »
Bacterial pneumonia can be controlled with antibiotics, but viral pneumonia is still a very difficult problem.
 

Offline Bored chemist

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I don't understand why my great-grandmother died of pneumonia
« Reply #2 on: 11/11/2010 06:57:38 »
Penicillin wasn't mass produced till 1944. In 1942 it would have been a very expensive research drug and there was no NHS.
 

Offline iko

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I don't understand why my great-grandmother died of pneumonia
« Reply #3 on: 11/11/2010 08:38:26 »
Five weeks in hospital? She might have died of TB pneumonia.
 

Offline Donnah

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I don't understand why my great-grandmother died of pneumonia
« Reply #4 on: 13/11/2010 17:09:50 »
Your great grandmother may have lost her will to live.  If she was close with her mother and shattered by the loss, it's possible that the thought of losing one or more sons may have been so terrifying that she couldn't bear it.

Or she may have been too depleted to recover.  Most of us don't understand how much harder day-to-day life was back then, even without a war.
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

I don't understand why my great-grandmother died of pneumonia
« Reply #4 on: 13/11/2010 17:09:50 »

 

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