By Naomi Rogers
In the course of international battle II, polio epidemics within the usa have been seen because the country's "other warfare at home": they can be neither estimated nor contained, and paralyzed sufferers confronted incapacity in an international unfriendly to the disabled. those realities have been exacerbated by way of the clinical community's enforced orthodoxy in treating the ailment, remedies that in most cases consisted of useless cures.
Polio Wars is the tale of Sister Elizabeth Kenny -- "Sister" being a connection with her prestige as a senior nurse, now not a spiritual designation -- who arrived within the US from Australia in 1940 espousing an unorthodox method of the therapy of polio. Kenny approached the ailment as a non-neurological illness, championing such novel treatments as scorching packs and muscle routines as opposed to splinting, surgical procedure, and immobilization. Her care embodied a distinct form of medical perform, certainly one of confident, patient-centered remedies that gave wish to determined sufferers and households.
The Kenny strategy, at first brushed off by way of the united states scientific institution, received overwhelming help over the consequent decade, together with the endorsement of the nationwide beginning for childish Paralysis (today's March of Dimes), America's biggest sickness philanthropy. via 1952, a Gallup ballot pointed out Sister Kenny as such a lot famous girl in the US, and he or she went directly to function a professional witness at Congressional hearings on medical study, a beginning director, and the topic of a Hollywood movie. Kenny breached specialist and social mores, crafting a public personality that combined Florence Nightingale and Marie Curie.
By the Eighties, following the invention of the Salk and Sabin vaccines and the March of Dimes' withdrawal from polio learn, so much americans had forgotten polio, its remedies, and Sister Kenny. In reading this historic arc and the public's technique of forgetting, Naomi Rogers provides Kenny as somebody worthy remembering. Polio Wars recalls either the fervour and the practices of medical care and explores them of their personal phrases.