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Gustav Adolf Michaelis (1798–1848)

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Professor Gustav Adolf Michaelis was an outstanding German obstetrician-gynecologist, one of the founders of scientific obstetrics. He gained worldwide recognition for his studies on the “sacral rhombus”, named after him the “rhombus of Michaelis”. Dr. Michaelis was an honest, hardworking and rather critical person, so in 1847, he did not instantly accept the ideas of Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis’s on “preventing puerperal fever”. Only in 1848, Michaelis introduced the compulsory chlorine hand washing in his clinic and made sure that mortality had dropped significantly. He was very depressed when he realized how many women (including his beloved niece) died from postpartum fever due to unsanitary obstetric practices. On August 8, 1848, Gustav Adolf Michaelis committed suicide.

About the Author

K. N. Grigorieva
Sechenov University
Russian Federation

Kristina N. Grigoreva – 6th year Student, Faculty of Pediatrics

62 St. Zemlyanoi Val, Moscow 109004, Russia.


1. Königlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften. Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie. München, Leipzig. 1885;21:679–80.

2. Michaelis G.A. Üeber das leuchten der Ostsee nach eigenen beobachtungen: nebst einigen bemerkungen überdiese Erscheinung in anderen Meeren. Perthes und Besser, 1830. 52 p.

3. Michaelis G.A. Das enge Becken: nach eigenen Beobachtungen und Untersuchungen. Leipzig, Georg Wigand, 1851. 440 p.

4. Longo L.D. Classic pages in obstetrics and gynecology. Das enge Becken, nach eigenen Beobachtungen und Untersuchungen. Gustav Adolf Michaelis. Leipzig, Georg Wigand, 1851. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1977;129(6):695–6.

For citation:

Grigorieva K.N. Gustav Adolf Michaelis (1798–1848). Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproduction. 2019;13(4):384-387. (In Russ.)

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ISSN 2313-7347 (Print)
ISSN 2500-3194 (Online)