Other Free Encyclopedias » Online Encyclopedia » Encyclopedia - Featured Articles » Contributed Topics from A-E

Beaumont, William

surgeon stomach trapper physiology

[ boh mont] (1785–1853) US surgeon; made pioneer studies of human digestive physiology.

Beaumont was a farmer’s son who became a village schoolmaster and later qualified in medicine. In the War of 1812 he became an army surgeon, rather minimally licensed to practise on the basis of his 2 years spent as an apprentice to a country doctor.

In 1822 at Fort Mackinac a young Canadian trapper was accidentally shot by a duck gun at close range, producing gross abdominal wounds and an opening into the stomach. Beaumont was nearby, saved his life, and tended him for 2 years. He was left with a permanent fistula (opening) into the stomach. Beaumont employed him and for 10 years was able to study digestion rather directly. Gastric juice could be obtained; and the lining of the stomach could be examined easily, and its movements, and the effects of different diets and emotions. Beaumont’s 238 observations gave a firm basis to the physiology of gastric digestion (they also much exasperated the trapper). The work also suggested to the value of artificial fistulas in experimental physiology, using animals. The trapper lived to be 82, greatly outliving his surgeon.

Beavers, Louise (1902–1962) [next] [back] Beaumont, Francis (c. 1585–1616) - BIOGRAPHY, MAJOR WORKS AND THEMES, CRITICAL RECEPTION

User Comments

Your email address will be altered so spam harvesting bots can't read it easily.
Hide my email completely instead?

Cancel or