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Samuel Siegfried Karl von Basch (1837–1905)

Nature volume 140, pages 393394 (04 September 1937) | Download Citation



THIS eminent Austrian physiologist and physician was born on September 9, 1837, at Prague. After studying medicine in his native town and Vienna, he qualified in 1862 in Vienna, where he acted as assistant for several years to Dittel, Jaeger, Turk and Kalisko. In 1865 he went to Mexico, where he was appointed Court physician to the Emperor Maximilian, who was shot on June 19, 1867, and himself narrowly escaped execution. After his return to Vienna he carried out some important experiments on the action of nicotine on the movements of the intestine, and in 1878 was appointed extraordinary professor in experimental pathology. He was the author of numerous publications, but his chief work was "The Physiology and Pathology of the Circulation" (1892), which he dedicated to his former teacher, the celebrated physiolegist Karl Ludwig. Basch is best known for his invention, of a sphygmomanometer, by which he inaugurated the clinical measurement of the blood pressure. He also did valuable work on pulmonary œdema, cardiac dyspnæa and the innervation of the uterus. His death took place on April 25, 1905.

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