John Pringle

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Pringle, John


Born Apr. 10, 1707, in Stitchel, Roxburghshire; died Jan. 18, 1782, in London. Scottish physician; one of the founders of military medicine and its prophylactic school (together with his student J. Lind).

Pringle studied at the universities of Edinburgh and Leiden and in 1730 he received a physician’s diploma from the latter. He was a student of H. Boerhaave. Pringle worked in Edinburgh as a physician and at the same time was a professor of ethics at the university. From 1744 to 1748 he was chief physician of the British Army in the Netherlands and then court physician to the king. He was a fellow from 1758 and president from 1772 to 1778 of the Royal Society of London.

Pringle was one of the first to establish the significance of purulent processes in disease development, and he identified “prison” and “hospital” fevers as typhus. He instituted a system of sanitary-hygienic measures in hospitals, barracks, and among soldiers on campaign, and in so doing he succeeded in lowering the number of epidemic diseases among the soldiers.

Pringle deserves credit for establishing rules of neutrality for hospitals in wartime. His Observations on the Diseases of the Army in Camp and Garrison, which was written in 1752, was published in ten editions and translated into several European languages, including Russian in 1807. A monument to Pringle was erected in Westminster Abbey in London.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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