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Ambrose Pare - an introduction

60 second histories

This video covers: An introduction to Ambroise Pare, his early career and his experience of treating wounds with boiling oil.

Bonjour I am Pare, Ambroise Pare. I was born in Laval in France in fifteen ten. I began my career as an apprentice surgeon to my brother and went on to become a surgeon at the Hotel Dieu in Paris. In fifteen thirty six I became an army surgeon and spent the next twenty years on campaign. My first action was at the siege of Turin; I had never seen such horror. I only had basic knowledge of anatomy and amputation at the time and I could see I was going to have to learn fast. I had read Vigo’s book on wounds, which taught that gunshot wounds were poisonous and that the only way to treat them was to pour boiling oil into the wound to kill the poison. So I set to work with boiling oil. Oh, how the soldiers screamed out in pain. I checked with the other surgeons to see how they were treating the gunshot wounds. “Go ahead” they said, “Use the oil, as hot as they can stand it, it will save their lives if they are lucky”
Medicine & Health
Key people
Medicine & health
Ambroise Pare
Key words: 
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