oa Professional Nursing Today - The importance of publishing health-related research findings : guest editorial
When Florence Nightingale arrived at Scutari Military Hospital, the death rate was 42%. She instituted good nursing care, promoted cleanliness, and provided good food. Within six months, the death rate dropped to 2.2%, a formidable accomplishment prior to the availability of antibiotics. Florence Nightingale kept accurate statistics, and displayed these in graphs and tables in local and military newspapers. Florence Nightingale's publications about her work, substantiated by accurate statistics, saved many soldiers' lives and changed the world's perceptions.
James Lancaster discovered that lemon juice prevented scurvy. However, sailors continued to die from scurvy for 264 years before the British Navy started supplying lemons to sailors. This might be attributed to the ineffective dissemination of James Lancaster's discovery.
Consequently, Florence Nightingale's published statistics saved many soldiers' lives, while sailors continued to die from scurvy, because Lancaster's data remained unpublished and unknown.
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