Designed the Ambulance Volante or 'flying
ambulances' to evacuate casualties from the battlefield.
The flying ambulances were horse
drawn wagons for collecting and carrying the wounded from the
battlefield to base hospitals. He described this concept in minute
detail in a report from the Italian Campaign of 1797. It consisted
of a system of transport of medical supplies and supporting personnel.
The personnel included a doctor, quartermaster, noncommissioned
officer, a drummer boy (who carried the bandages), and 24 infantrymen.
The flying ambulances were a success, and this idea was subsequently
taken up by other armies. Even in the harsh desert terrain, his
flying ambulances would collect the wounded in less than 15 minutes.
Larrey was soon organizing flying
ambulances for the entire French Army. This transport system served
not only as a boost in morale for the rank and file officers of
the French Revolutionary Armies, but it also effected a greater
and realistic opportunity for the treatment and survival of the
wounded. Moreover, his attention to the wounded on both sides
of the battlefield was a noble concept for which Larrey should
be credited. These revolutionary ideas for the care of the wounded
survived to modern times in the form of the Red Cross.
Was the first surgeon to treat battlefield casualties where they
were injured, rather than awaiting for the finish of the battle
at the end of the day, and also introduced the first descriptions
'The best plan that can be adopted
in such emergencies, to prevent the evil consequences of leaving
soldiers who are severely wounded without assistance, is to place
the ambulances as near as possible to the line of the battle,
and to establish headquarters, to which all the wounded, who require
delicate operations, shall be collected to be operated upon by
the surgeon-general. Those who are dangerously
wounded should receive the first attention, without regard to
rank or distinction. They who are injured in a less degree
may wait until their brethren-in-arms, who are badly mutilated,
have been operated and dressed, otherwise the latter would not
survive many hours; rarely until the succeesing day. Besides with
a slight wound, it is easy to repair to the hospital of the first
or second line, especially for the officers who generally have
means of transportation. Finally, life is not endangered by such
Became Professor of Surgery at
Val-de-Grace medical school.
Accompanied Napoleon on his expeditions
to Egypt, Palestine and Syria.
Performed one of the earlies amputations about the hip.
Appointed Surgeon-in-Chief to the French Army
Accompanied Napoleon to Germany,
Poland and Moscow
During the war in Spain the Spanish made extensive use of land
mines on the roads of retreat. Larrey had extensive opportunity
to study lower limb injuries and amputations.
Battle of Ratisbon
Larrey tending to Napoleon
Battle of Ratisbon (Regensburg), Bavaria
Made a Baron by Napoleon
Reportedly he performed 200 amputations within a 24-hour period
after the Battle of Borodino.
Larrey was the darling of the common soldier and they looked after
him during the dreadful retreat from Russia. At the crossing of
the Beresina, where thousands died in the panic-stricken struggle
to get over the bridge, French troops passed him over their heads
the length of the span to safety.
Published first description of
Battle of Waterloo
Larrey's courage was even noticed at Waterloo by the Duke of Wellington
who, noticing Larrey tending injured men in a dangerously exposed
position, saluted a man 'of an age no longer ours'.
Shot and left for dead.
Captured by the Prussians and sentenced to deathm but was recognised
by a German physician who had been his student at Val-de-Grace.
He pleased for Larrey's life with Prussian Field Marshall, Gerhard
Blucher. Blucher's son had been wounded and captured by the French
- and his life had been saved by Larrey. Larrey was freed and
given safe passage to Belgium.
Published 4 volumes entitled: Memoires de chirurgie militarie
First successful pericardiocentesis
Cardiac tamponade secondary to penetrating cardiac wound
Died August 1st, Paris