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Jean Dominique Larrey, French surgeon

Jean Dominique Larrey, French surgeon

C005/6543

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Credit

SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Baron Jean Dominique Larrey (1766-1842), French surgeon and inventor of the ambulance. Larrey was surgeon-in-chief of the Napleonic armies from 1797 to 1815. Larrey believed in early limb amputation for serious wounds and used refrigeration to dull the pain of such operations. He introduced 'flying ambulances' to the battlefield. These light, two-wheeled, sprung carriages removed the wounded to the rear for surgery. Larrey became Inspector General of the French Army in 1805. After Napoleon's fall in 1815, Larrey wrote a pioneering textbook on military surgery. Here he is shown in 1792 demonstrating that galvanic current induced muscular contraction in a leg he had amputated from a young soldier.

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