Publication details

Childcare and Development of Paediatrics in Moravia (Czech Republic) in the Context of Palaeopathological Research Focusing on Congenital Malformations, Metabolic and Haematologic Diseases



Year of publication 2020
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Anthropologia Integra
Keywords the Austrian monarchy; development of paediatrics; child care; Moravia; congenital malformations; metabolic diseases; hematologic diseases
Description The presented study is a part of a complex study focused on monitoring the origin and development of paediatric care in Moravia, one of the countries of the former Austrian monarchy. The work also takes into account the social conditions, as changes in the Moravian healthcare sector occurred in the period under review in connection with the Theresian and Josephine reforms. Neonatal mortality was very high at the time, including, among other things, the lack of care for mothers-to-be. The study observes the state of health and the causes of paediatric mortality from the 13th to the 19th centuries, on the basis of the study of available literary sources within the context of palaeopathological analyses of children's skeletal remains. The analysis of adult skeletons of the study population provides evidence of high female mortality between 20-30 years of age. The attention was focused on congenital malformations, metabolic and hematogenic diseases. From congenital malformations, palaeopathological analysis confirmed the developmental dysplasia of the hip and the premature obliteration of cranial sutures in the examined child population. From the haematologic and metabolic diseases, the manifestations of anemia in the form of cribra orbitalia, signs of scurvy and rickets were most frequently reported. These diseases were reported mainly in children in foundling homes and orphanages. According to literary sources, their numbers grew significantly in connection with famine-related war incidents. Therefore, the results of the study provide direct evidence of the occurrence of observed childhood illnesses in Moravia during the period of modern times.

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