Question 5 - Upper Level: Reading Comprehension Practice Test for the ISEE

What is the author’s primary purpose in writing the attached passage?

\[\begin{array}{} {1} & \;\;\text{Long ago, having even minor surgery was extremely} \\ {2} & \;\;\text{dangerous. Much more dangerous, in fact, than any major} \\ {3} &\;\; \text{surgery you can have today. Prior to the middle of the} \\ {4} & \;\;\text{nineteenth century, almost half of the patients who} \\ {5} &\;\; \text{underwent surgery died as a result. Many of these people} \\ {6} & \;\;\text{survived the actual procedure, but their wound would later} \\ {7} & \;\;\text{become infected and ultimately lead to their death.} \\ \end{array}\] \[\begin{array}{} {8} & \;\;\text{These frequent infections occurred because antiseptics did} \\ {9} & \;\;\text{not yet exist, and the medical professionals of the time had} \\ {10} & \;\;\text{no idea about infection control or disinfection. Many doctors} \\ {11} & \;\;\text{believed that the infections were caused by bad air getting} \\ {12} &\;\; \text{into the wound, and they would instruct the nurses to air-out} \\ {13} & \;\;\text{the hospital every day. Meanwhile, doctors would perform} \\ {14} & \;\;\text{surgery without washing their hands and while wearing a} \\ {15} &\;\; \text{coat soiled with another patient’s blood. Many of them} \\ {16} & \;\;\text{purposely wore dirty gowns and coats as a sign of their} \\ {17} & \;\;\text{experience! With conditions like these, it’s no wonder so} \\ {18} & \;\;\text{many patients succumbed to infection after their surgeries.} \\ \end{array}\] \[\begin{array}{} {19} & \;\;\text{In the 1860s, a surgeon by the name of Joseph Lister} \\ {20} & \;\;\text{permanently changed the medical world for the better.} \\ {21} & \;\;\text{Drawing from the work of Louis Pasteur, Lister realized that} \\ {22} & \;\;\text{infection could occur when microorganisms were present. In} \\ {23} &\;\; \text{order to prevent harmful, or fatal, infections, Lister began} \\ {24} &\;\; \text{sterilizing medical tools with a carbolic acid mixture. He also} \\ {25} &\;\; \text{instructed other surgeons to wash their hands, wear gloves,} \\ {26} &\;\; \text{and disinfect the patient’s skin prior to surgery. Lister realized} \\ {27} & \;\;\text{that the most effective way of preventing infection was to} \\ {28} & \text{eliminate microorganisms before they ever had a chance to} \\ {29} & \;\;\text{enter the patient’s body.} \\ \end{array}\] \[\begin{array}{} {30} &\;\; \text{After doctors began introducing these antiseptic methods} \\ {31} &\;\; \text{into their surgeries, the survival rate in patients undergoing} \\ {32} &\;\; \text{surgery dramatically rose. While the methods for disinfection} \\ {33} &\;\; \text{have changed, Joseph Lister is still considered to be the} \\ {34} & \;\;\text{father of modern surgery, and his discoveries saved} \\ {35} &\;\; \text{countless lives over the years.} \\ \end{array}\]

Create a FREE profile to save your progress and scores!

Create a Profile

Already signed up? Sign in

Ad