Pirogov, Nikolai Ivanovich

Pirogov, Nikolai Ivanovich nyĭkəlīˈ ēväˈnəvĭch pĭrōgôfˈ [key], 1810–81, Russian surgeon, b. Moscow. He entered Moscow Univ. at the age of 14 and completed the medical curriculum at 17. He then studied in Germany, receiving a doctor of philosophy degree at Dorpat, where he served as professor of surgery from 1836 to 1840. He first gained prominence in the United States for his anatomical studies on arteries and fascia. In 1840 he returned to Russia and became professor of hospital surgery at the Military Medical Academy at St. Petersburg. The opening of the Crimean War in 1854 found him in Sevastopol. Considered the founder of field surgery, he devised the plaster cast, first used successfully in the Sevastopol campaign, and the Pirogov amputation, a method of severing the foot so that part of the heel bone is left in the stump to give added support to the lower ends of the leg bones. He was one of the first to use ether as an anesthetic (1847) and was the author of many scientific treatises.

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