Napoleonic Surgeon-in-Chief Dominique-Jean Larrey is described in Napoleon's last testament as "the worthiest man I ever met". In a career spanning several blood-stained decades, Larrey carried out thousands of battlefield amputations with great speed and all possible humanity. In 1793, Larrey established the ambulance volante (flying ambulance), a corps of surgeons and nurses who accompanied armies into battle and tended their soldiers' wounds. This was an era before the Red Cross or antisepsis; mortality rates were high.
Larrey was a patriotic but compassionate Frenchman. He was perhaps the only figure who appreciated the potential significance of Henry Hill Hickman's work on "suspended animation".
Henry Hill Hickman
Refs and Further Reading
Baron Dominique-Jean Larrey
Anaesthesia and Anaesthetics