Pioneers

Johann F.A von Esmarch 1823-1908

I have included this particular German Surgeon  Johann Von Esmarch because He was one of the last great surgeons of the nineteenth century German school.

He was primarily a military surgeon and has been therefore called the "Ambroise Pare of Germany",
Born on January 9, 1823, in the small town of Tonning, on the west coast of Schleswig-Holstein, he was the son of a district surgeon.

As a nine-year-old schoolboy, he dissected frogs, and accompanied his father on his rounds.
His schooling was in Redsburg and Flensburg, though he was less than a model student. Esmarch was a proud German patriot, and participated in the struggle to free his native Schleswig-Holstein from Danish control.288

I am familiar with the Esmarch bandage which we used to use in the seventies and eighties. It was made of red rubber and was really good at exsanguinating limbs. It has made a comeback with hand surgeons although not of rubber.
He was mainly concerned in his life with first aid and obtaining bloodless fields during surgery. The bandage was originally designed to help in the reduction of fractures.

As Surgeon-General, Esmarch required every German soldier to have an "Antiseptic Dressing Package". This is described in the German Military Sanitary Regulations of 1886 as containing, "two antiseptic muslin compresses 40 cm. X 20 cm., a cambric bandage 300 cm. X 5 cm., a safety pin, and waterproof material 28 cm. X 18 cm., for covering." 288

                                                                                                                

                                                                                                                

 


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The History of Surgery and Anaesthesia was created as a free resource to educate Students or indeed anyone wishing to understand the beginings of surgery and Anaesthesia.

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