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Pare, Ambroise

PARE, AMBROISE, the first and most eminent of the old French surgeons, was born in 1509, at Laval, m the province of Maine and the modern department of Mi\«im. His parents were poor, and his education was neglected, but having one day witnessed the operation of lithotomy. he went immediately to Paris and commenced the study %S surgery. He afterwards accompanied the French army during several campaigns in Italy, and gained so much reputation, that in 1552 he was appointed surgeon inordinary to king Henry II. He held the same office under Francis II., Charles IX., and Henry III., until his death, a: the age of eighty-one, in 1590. He appears to have been a pious and excellent man, and having been educated in the reformed church, he steadily refused to leave it. Dur.u: the horrible massacre of St. Bartholomew's, he owed bit hfe to his professional reputation cmd the personal friendship of the king, whom, as ho tells us himself, he had espeaalW obliged by having saved from the consequences of a wour.1 accidentally inflicted on the median nerve in venesect.on. (Opera Chirurg., lib. ix., cap. 38.) Brantome says, in ha 'Memoirs,' that on the evening of the massacre the king sent for him into his bed-room, and told him not to stir out. saying that it was not right to murder a man who was to useful to the world (torn. iv.). The Freuch writers justly consider Pan' to be the father of modern surgery, arid say that he holds the same rank in this branch of tbeprufcisifti as Hippocrates docs in medicine. He was not satisfied with blindly following the precepts of his predecessor*, but by diligent observation and reflection made several important changes in the mode of treatment, which have been followed to the present day. One of his greatest rvfvTun was in the treatment of gun-shot wounds, into which it was the custom at that time to pour boiling oil; he was also the first person who left off the barbarous practice of cauterising a limb to stop the hemorrhage after an amputation, lie was the first who recommended the extraction of the fxelus by the feet in cases of difficult parturition (lib. xxiii, cap. Su He says that in cases of ascites the fluid should not he drawn off all at once after paracentesis (lib. viL, cap. 12). Although he was not the discoverer of the art of tying the blood-vessels, he at least restored the practice, pointed out its advantages, and gave some cxccilrr,: rules for performing the operation. His works are chitSr valuable and remarkable for the great number of facta and casos contained in them, and for the care with which he avoids giving any directions resting merely upon theories and unsupported by observations. They were published in a collected form at Paris, 1585, fol., in Fre:;cL and are divided into twenty-eight books, of which the fjnt five are chiefly on anatomical and physiological subject*. There are several other editions of his whole works, which have also been translated into Latin, Paris, 1582, fol. in twenty-six books; into English, London, 1578, hi.; into Dutch, Leid., 1604, fol. ; aud into German, Frankf, 1604. fol. (Sprengel, llist.dela Med.; Haller, Btblioth. Chirurg.. Biogr. Afrd.)

Note - this article incorporates content from The Penny Cyclopaedia of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge (1840)

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