Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: Ambroise Pare

  • Silas Weir Mitchell and causalgia

    JMS Pearce Hull, England, United Kingdom   Fig 1. Silas Weir Mitchell. Photo by Frederick Gutekunst, 1881. National Library of Medicine. Via Wikimedia. Public domain. Silas Weir Mitchell (1829 – 1914) (Fig 1) was born in Philadelphia, the seventh physician in three generations. Webb Haymaker gives an early clue to his unconventional personality when he…

  • Diane de Poitiers, a case of mammary narcissism

    A Lady in Her Bath, by Francois Clouet, 1571. National Gallery of Art, Washington. The woman in partial undress shown by Francois Clouet as A Lady in Her Bath is believed to be the famous mistress of the French King Henry II, Diane de Poitiers.1 Born in 1499 in the château of St. Vallier on…

  • Ambroise Paré shown amputating a leg on the battlefield

    One of the many of Amboise Paré’s surgical innovations was to tie off the blood vessels severed during amputations rather than cauterize them to stop the bleeding. This approach yielded greatly improved results but was much more time consuming because as many as fifty ligatures may have been needed during one amputation. In this painting…

  • Ambroise Pare: Standard bearer for barber-surgery reform

    Mildred Wilson Detroit, MI Ambroise Pare, Posthumous, Fantasy Portrait by William Holl. Public Domain “There are five duties of surgery: to remove what is superfluous, to restore what has been dislocated, to separate what has grown together, to reunite what has been divided, and to redress the defects of nature.” -Ambroise Pare1 For centuries, barbers…

  • Blood and bandages

    Patricia A. UnsworthBolton, England, United Kingdom The notorious Sweeney Todd, the demon barber of Fleet Street, is possibly the first thought that comes to mind at the mention of barber surgeons, but how far from reality was this character of Victorian fiction? Perhaps not so far removed as one might imagine. Todd was obviously a…

  • Bloody beginnings of hematology

    Sherin Jose ChockattuBengaluru, India His pole, with pewter basins hung,Black, rotten teeth in order strung,Rang’d cups that in the window stood,Lin’d with red rags, to look like blood,Did well his threefold trade explain,Who shav’d, drew teeth, and breathd a vein – John Gay (The Goat Without a Beard, 1727) For over three millennia, self-taught physicians…

  • The barber-surgeons: Their history over the centuries

    Anusha Pillay Raipur, India   Bloodletting from the arm. Wellcome Collection. CC BY 4.0. “His pole, with pewter basins hung, Black, rotten teeth in order strung, Rang’d cups that in the window stood, Lin’d with red rags, to look like blood, Did well his threefold trade explain, Who shav’d, drew teeth, and breath’d a vein.” –…

  • The Red Cross and hematology pioneers

    Barnabas PastoryDar es Salaam, Tanzania Providing medical care to suffering humankind constitutes an important part of the Red Cross’ service scope. History records an important connection between the Red Cross and pioneers in the subject matter of blood. The humanitarian service of the Red Cross began between 1859 and 1863 with the advocacy efforts of…

  • Christ at the bedside

    Jesus sits by the bedside of the girl he has just raised from the dead. He is holding the girl’s hand and looks tenderly into her eyes. He has just truly affected a cure, unlike the physicians of old confined by necessity to the dictum of “guérir parfois, soulager souvent, consoler toujours”*—usually attributed to the…

  • The rebirth of medicine

    Constantina Pitsillides Hull, United Kingdom   Introduction  Andreas Vesalius De humani corporis fabrica, 1543 page 190 The great scientific advances of Western medicine trace their roots to the Renaissance, the period of thought that rejected medieval monasticism and rediscovered the cultures that preceded it. The ancient Egyptians and Greeks had some notions on how the…