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Anesthesiology Reflections from the Wood Library-Museum  |   December 2012
Paul Bert: From Physiology to Barometric Pressure
Author Notes
  • President of Club d’Histoire de l’Anesthésie et de la Réanimation (French Association for the History of Anesthesiology and Critical Care), France , and Musée Viars, CHU Pitié-Salpêtrière, Paris, France.
Article Information
Anesthesiology Reflections from the Wood Library-Museum
Anesthesiology Reflections from the Wood Library-Museum   |   December 2012
Paul Bert: From Physiology to Barometric Pressure
Anesthesiology 12 2012, Vol.117, 1244. doi:10.1097/ALN.0b013e31827ce191
Anesthesiology 12 2012, Vol.117, 1244. doi:10.1097/ALN.0b013e31827ce191
Paul Bert (1833–1886) was a French physiologist and a politician (he founded with Jules Ferry the public, nondenominational, and obligatory school). In 1878, he published a book on his barometric pressure research. He demonstrated that bubbles, which kill animals during decompression accidents, contain nitrogen and carbon dioxide. He also studied the toxicity of high pressure oxygen on the central nervous system–the so-called Paul Bert effect. This book (1,161 pages) was a classical reference book for divers, submariners, and aeronauts. The Paul Bert Prize  was created by both the National Space Agency (NASA) and the American Society of Physiology to reward research in space physiology.
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