Ambroise Paré (1510-1590) and His Innovative Work on the Treatment of War Injuries

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Abstract

The purpose of this study is to summarize the innovations of Ambroise Paré (1510-1590) on the treatment of war wounds and improving amputation technique through ligature in arteries and veins. Ambroise Paré debunked the widely accepted idea that gun powder was poisonous for wounds. He also minimized the use of cautery of wounds by his dressing methods and the application of ligature during amputations. All these innovative rationales revolutionized the practice of war surgery during the Renaissance and paved the way for the introduction of modern surgery. Nevertheless, although his wound dressing innovations became widely accepted, the same did not happen with ligature and amputation; those techniques could become widely applicable if one could somehow control bleeding until the blood vessels had been tied. This became possible much later in the 18th century when Jean Louis Petit invented the first useful and efficient tourniquet.

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