Étienne Stéphane Tarnier

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Étienne Stéphane Tarnier (1828–1897) was a pioneering French obstetrician who made significant contributions to the field of neonatology, the branch of medicine that deals with the medical care of newborn infants, especially the ill or premature newborn. He is best known for his invention of the incubator for premature infants, a device that has saved countless lives since its introduction.

Biography[edit | edit source]

Étienne Stéphane Tarnier was born in 1828 in Dijon, France. He pursued his medical studies in Paris, where he later became a professor of obstetrics. Throughout his career, Tarnier was dedicated to improving the outcomes of childbirth and reducing infant mortality. He worked at the Maternité de Paris, a leading maternity hospital in Paris, where he introduced several innovations in the care of newborns.

Contributions to Medicine[edit | edit source]

Tarnier's most notable contribution to medicine was the development of the first modern incubator for premature infants in 1881. Before Tarnier's invention, premature infants had a very low survival rate due to their inability to maintain body temperature. Tarnier's incubator was a simple, yet effective device that provided a controlled, warm environment for the infants, significantly improving their chances of survival.

In addition to the incubator, Tarnier introduced several other innovations in obstetric care, including improvements to the forceps and the development of the Tarnier scale, a device used to measure the pressure applied during the use of obstetric forceps.

Legacy[edit | edit source]

Tarnier's work had a profound impact on the field of neonatology and obstetrics. His innovations laid the groundwork for modern neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) and have contributed to the significant reduction in infant mortality rates over the past century. Tarnier is remembered as a pioneer in the care of newborns and a significant figure in the history of medicine.

See Also[edit | edit source]


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