Paré, Ambroise

SUBJECT AREA: Medical technology
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b. 1510 Laval, Maine, France
d. 20 December 1590 Paris, France
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French physician, surgeon and anatomist recognized as the founder of the rational approach to the practice of surgery and the treatment of wounds.
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After a barber-surgeon apprenticeship in Paris, Paré was appointed Resident Surgeon to the Hôtel-Dieu in 1533. From 1537 he served as a military surgeon in the Wars of Religion under Henri II, François II, Charles IX and Henri III. His immense experience of battlefield surgery led him to initiate new treatments of wounds and amputations, replacing the destructive and infecting procedures then practised. His first book, published in 1549, advocated the use of simple ointments and ligatures for amputations.
During the following years he experienced many adventures and vicissitudes and survived the St Bartholomew's Day massacre probably as a result of royal intervention. His numerous surgical and anatomical discoveries and innovations appeared in two major sets of works published in 1564 and 1572. In 1574 he was appointed premier chirurgien, conseiller et valet-de-chambre to Henri II, and a further collection of writings was published in 1575.
His attempts to unite French surgeons under his leadership were consistently opposed by the Faculty of Physicians, who not only objected to his writing in French rather than Latin, but also to his refutation of such therapies as "mummies and unicorn's horn".
Of his many contributions to medicine, his insistence on rational treatments is outstanding, and two aphorisms are representative: "Then I resolved never again to so cruelly burn the poor wounded by gunshot"; "I removed the stone but God cured the patient".
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Bibliography
1564, Dix livres de chirurgerie, Paris. 1572, Cinq livres de chirurgerie, Paris.
1575, Les Oeuvres de M.Ambroise Paré, Paris.
Further Reading
T.Johnson, 1649, The Works of That Famous Chirurgien Ambroise Parey, London.
MG

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

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  • PARÉ, AMBROISE —    great French surgeon, born at Laval; was from the improved methods he introduced in the treatment of surgical cases entitled to be called, as he has been, the father of modern surgery, for his success as an operator, in particular the tying of …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

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