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More on Scylla and Charybdis

Published:September 30, 2015DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejim.2015.09.013
      At the onset of their article: “Managing a research hospital at the time of a global economics crisis: cruising between Scylla and Charybdis” Macchi and Pavan [
      • Macchi L.
      • Pavan A.
      Managing a research hospital at the time of a global economics crisis: cruising between Scylla and Charybdis.
      ] cite the interesting paper published in this journal by Riva and Cesana [
      • Riva M.A.
      • Cesana G.
      The charity and the care: the origin and the evolution of hospitals.
      ] on evolution of the hospitals from ancient Greece to present. This article lacks an historical analysis of the architectural/structural elements that have marked hospital construction over the time. Indeed, hospital configuration has changed over the centuries together with the medical knowledge. Buildings in the Middle Age/Renaissance were impressive constructions of great magnificence designed by the best artists typically with large rooms for many patients in the same ward. Following the outbreak of infectious diseases, lethal in those times, physicians developed the idea that “more air” should circulate around the patients to improve outcome. Therefore, in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century, hospitals were built with separated pavilions, possibly distant, with little communication. The medical aim was to expose patients, isolated or in small numbers, to a greater “air volume”.

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      References

        • Macchi L.
        • Pavan A.
        Managing a research hospital at the time of a global economics crisis: cruising between Scylla and Charybdis.
        Eur J Intern Med. 2015; 26: 377
        • Riva M.A.
        • Cesana G.
        The charity and the care: the origin and the evolution of hospitals.
        Eur J Intern Med. 2013; 24: 1