"A people who respects the memory of their distinguished ancestors deserves the right to look into the future."
The famous Russian doctor Nikolai Sklifosovsky was born 6 on April 1836 of the year in the family of an impoverished nobleman. Sklifosovsky lived in a farm located in the Kherson province, near the city of Dubossary. Nicholas was the parents of the ninth child, and all in the family there were twelve children. His father, Vasily Pavlovich, served in the Dubossary Quarantine Office as an ordinary clerk. He received little money earned by Sklifosovsky barely enough to feed. And that time was difficult. In 1830, a typhus epidemic suddenly began, followed by an outbreak of cholera. According to the preserved statistics of those years, out of 200 born children, about a hundred died before they were one year old.
Despite the workload of important tasks related to the activities for the eradication of diseases, Nikolay's father managed to pay enough attention to his children. In particular, Vasily Pavlovich himself learned their literacy and introduced them to reading, but he hoped to give the children some worthwhile education, he had no thoughts. Every year the financial situation of the Sklifosovsky family deteriorated, and in the end, the family council decided to send the younger children to the orphanage. So young Kohl was in the Odessa orphanage. From an early age he had the opportunity to experience bitter feelings of loneliness and homelessness, from which he very soon began to find salvation from his studies. Particularly interested in his natural sciences, foreign and ancient languages, история and literature. The doctrine became for the boy not only an outlet, but also the goal - to defeat a rough fate, to overcome difficult life circumstances and his unenviable position.
Gymnasium Nicholas finished among the best students. A silver medal and an excellent certificate gave him certain benefits when he entered the university. It is worth adding that by that time, a young youth who grew up on his father’s stories about work during the cholera epidemic, already knew exactly what he wanted to do in the future - to heal people. Full of aspirations and hopes, Nikolay went to the First Altar, in order to enter the medical faculty of Moscow University. Almost all the entrance exams in theoretical subjects Sklifosovsky stood on the "excellent" (only physics with zoology, he passed on the "good"). The leadership of the school was simply fascinated by the diligence of the new student, and soon after the start of the training, an order appeared to transfer the pupil of the Odessa order of Sklifosovsky Nicholas to the official content.
At that time, true enthusiasts of their work were working at the university, among which stood out: Fyodor Inozemtsev, who used etheric anesthesia as one of the first, and the outstanding physiologist Vasily Basov, who taught a course in theoretical surgery. These two lights of medical science had a decisive influence on the choice of Nikolai Vasilyevich medical profile, as well as his enthusiasm for topographical anatomy and surgery. In addition, the young student independently studied the works of the founder of the national military field surgery Nikolay Pirogov. Subsequently, referring to the merits of Nikolai Ivanovich, Sklifosovsky will say: "The principles introduced by Pirogov to science will remain an eternal contribution and will not be erased from her tablets until the last sound of colorful Russian speech is dead ...".
In material terms, while studying at the university, Nikolai Vasilyevich was still in distress, being completely dependent on the Odessa order. Officials of the order managed to send his wretched scholarship with great delay. A curious case, in 1859, when Sklifosovsky, having finished his studies at the university with glitter, was about to leave for Odessa to the place of his future work, the Odessa order detained by tradition his last scholarship. In this regard, Nikolai Vasilyevich had to borrow money for travel from university professors.
At 1859, a twenty-three-year-old boy got a job in the surgical department of one of Odessa’s city hospitals as a regular resident. Nevertheless, this modest position allowed Sklifosovsky to gain the material independence and professional independence he long desired. In the city hospital, Nikolai Vasilyevich worked for ten years, during which time he gained experience. During these years, he studied in detail the anatomy, a lot of time devoted to autopsies. The lack of ventilation and poor sectional equipment did not bother him. Over the study of the structure of the human body Sklifosovsky sat up to complete exhaustion, once he was even found lying near a corpse in a deep faint.
Nikolay Vasilyevich’s career went without difficulty, but the regalia to the young doctor were not important - in the first place he always had a constant surgical practice. At twenty-seven years old (at 1863), he successfully defended his doctoral dissertation at Kharkov University and went on a business trip abroad for two years to “improve”. For a couple of years Sklifosovsky had to go to Germany and France - to practice in pathology institute Rudolf Virchow Clinic outstanding surgeon of the nineteenth century, Bernhardt von Langenbeck, the surgeon August Nelatona, as well as a trip to England and Scotland - to get acquainted with the local medical schools and work in Edinburgh the university. Internships abroad, Nikolai Vasilyevich met famous Western doctors, and his speeches at European surgical congresses aroused keen interest among his colleagues. In the future, Sklifosovsky always closely followed the development of European science and kept in touch with the largest foreign clinics, often visiting them and taking part in international congresses.
After the end of the business trip Sklifosovsky decided to familiarize himself with the field surgery. Having asked permission from the Russian government, Nikolai Vasilyevich went to the Austro-Prussian War. There he actively worked in the infirmary and dressing stations, even took part in the biggest battle of that campaign - the Battle of Sadow (July 3 1866), for which he was awarded an iron cross.
It should be noted that, despite successful promotion in the family, the surgeon was far from smooth in the family. All my life, challenging death and almost always winning this fight, Nikolai Vasilyevich turned out to be completely powerless in the face of personal tragedy. His beloved wife Elizaveta Grigorievna died of typhoid, barely she was twenty-four years old. In the hands of Nikolai Vasilievich left three children - Olga, Nikolai and Konstantin. It seemed to Sklifosovsky in those days that everything was over. He is a hopeful doctor who could not save his own wife. Why, then, should he continue to learn, why do he need to hang around in the operating room for days? However, gradually the feeling of powerlessness and guilt began to recede. And soon a new love appeared in the life of Nikolai Vasilyevich. Sofya Alexandrovna worked in their house as a governess, and skillfully got on well with the children - she had only to go to their room, and she was immediately filled with laughter, joyful shouts and noisy fuss. Over time, the young governess managed to become a friend not only to the children of the famous doctor, but also to himself. Friendship turned into love, and after a while they got married. Their marriage was surprisingly happy and durable. They had four babies - Alexander, Boris, Vladimir and Tamara. All the children of the doctor got along well with each other. Sofya Alexandrovna skillfully managed the farm, understood her spouse perfectly, and never drew a line between Elizaveta Grigorievna’s children and her own.
After the war, the young doctor returned to his own surgical department of the Odessa hospital, but his name already became known in the medical world, and in the same year, thanks to the recommendation of the famous Pirogov, Nikolai Vasilyevich was invited to the position of head of the department of surgery at Kiev University. He gladly accepted an honorary position, but he did not stay long there. A true supporter of the methods of Pirogov, Sklifosovsky for the surgeon in the first place put the importance and importance of practical education, in particular the experience of military field surgery. In this regard, leaving for the time the department in the city of Kiev, he went to the front of the Franco-Prussian war, where he learned the wisdom of staging the work of military hospitals.
In 1871, Sklifosovsky received an invitation from the St. Petersburg Medico-Surgical Academy. He went there and taught first the surgical pathology, managing at the same time the surgical department of the military hospital, and with 1878 he headed the surgical clinic of the baronet Jacob Willie. In addition, at 1876, Nikolai Vasilyevich again went to war, this time to Montenegro, as a consultant for surgery at the Red Cross. The Russian-Turkish war (1877-1878), which flared up shortly thereafter, also called him into the army. Her brave doctor had the hardest. He tied up wounded soldiers during the crossing of the Danube, worked as a surgeon at Shipka and under Plevna. His wife Sofia Alexandrovna, who followed her husband, recalled: “After many operations in a row in a hot and stuffy operating room, inhaling iodoform, ether, carbolic oil, Nikolai came to me with a terrible headache ...”. The assistance provided by the surgeon was often carried out under enemy bullets, the cries and groans of the wounded were muffled by the roar of cannon fire, and Nikolai Vasilievich risked his life no less than soldiers on the front line. However, for the sake of work Sklifosovsky could forget about everything. Eyewitnesses told how this, in appearance, well-groomed and elegant state general, was able to stay at the operating table for several days, remaining without sleep and food. In particular, during counterattacks of Suleiman Pasha's troops, Sklifosovsky operated for four days in a row without rest and under enemy fire! Not one hundred soldiers who suffered in battles passed through his hands - according to reports from that period, over 10 of thousands of Russian soldiers visited his hospitals.
Many participants in the battles survived only thanks to Nikolai Vasilyevich. Having participated in four wars, Sklifosovsky gained enormous experience in treating the wounded and organizing medical care. Careful analysis of fractures and gunshot wounds gave the doctor the opportunity to offer a number of important therapeutic and organizational measures, and the disinfection of the surgical site and tools he introduced reduced the mortality several times. Like Pirogov, the overriding task requiring a timely and qualified solution, he considered sorting the wounded. In the course of sorting, Sklifosovsky proposed his own system of dividing patients into four categories: non-transportable, subject to plastering, requiring normal ligation, and lightly wounded, returning to the front in one or two days. In the category of non-transportable, left in the hospital, the doctor referred the injured with complex gunshot wounds to large joints and penetrating wounds to the abdomen and chest. In addition, considering the transportation of the wounded in peasant carts on unpaved roads is extremely harmful, the doctor determined the terms of evacuation of patients of different categories.
Sklifosovsky rightly believed that the effectiveness of the medical support of the army depends entirely on the competence of the managers of the medical service, the level of their special training and management flexibility. Nikolai Vasilievich considered it unacceptable to concentrate the wounded soldiers in one place, since this would inevitably lead to an outbreak of infection and the death of a huge number of people. He advocated the widespread use of tents for arranging the wounded arriving in battles in large numbers after the battles, and was very sorry that Pirogov’s proposal did not find proper practical application in our army. Sklifosovsky was also the first to propose the idea of using railway transport to evacuate the wounded. He also came up with the idea of organizing moving "volatile teams" working in places of maximum concentration of the wounded. The entire experience gained by the military surgeon Nikolai Vasilievich was later presented in articles published in the newspaper Medvedinskii Vestnik and in the Military Medical Journal.
In 1880, Sklifosovsky transferred to the department of the faculty surgical clinic located in Moscow. In the same year, Nikolay Vasilyevich, being a professor, was elected to the position of dean of the medical faculty of Moscow University. At the new place he successfully worked until 1893 - these years spent in Moscow were the most productive period of his scientific and pedagogical activity. He worked in one of the most interesting eras of surgery - the mid-nineteenth century was marked by major discoveries: an antiseptic and general anesthesia with chloroform and ether appeared. These innovations have revolutionized medical practice. The previous stage of the development of surgery was characterized by a huge amount of purulent and putrid inflammations, gangrene and wound complications with gigantic mortality (up to eighty percent). And the absence of anesthesia significantly limited the use of surgical interventions - without serious and painful pain, only short-term operations could be transferred. Surgeons of those times were genuine technicians-virtuosos, the duration of operations was calculated in minutes, and often in seconds. However, as often happens, advanced discoveries were not always easy to enter everyday life. It happened with antiseptic, I mean disinfection with the help of chemicals. Major experts from Russia and Europe not only did not want to recognize its effectiveness, but even made fun of this method of fighting microbes. In order to introduce the antiseptic method in Russia, a very strong authority was needed both among scientists and professors of Europe, and among Russian doctors and the general public. It was Sklifosovsky who was credited with the introduction of the principles of antisepsis into the practice of domestic surgeons, and later asepsis (disinfection with the help of physical means).
In general, the value of Nikolai Vasilyevich in the history of domestic surgery is very large. His exceptional talent, unremitting classes in the operating room, sectional, on the battlefield, in domestic and foreign clinics, in libraries, eventually bore fruit. Nikolai Vasilyevich brilliantly mastered operational techniques, many diseases that most doctors of those years could not cope with, he transferred to the category of treatable, and even eminent surgeons noted with awe that Sklifosovsky had “golden hands”. A number of unique operations performed by him for the first time became classical in the world of surgery. Surgical treatment of abdominal wall hernia, cerebral hernia, cancer of the jaws and tongue, cancer of the stomach, esophagus, larynx, goiter, surgical removal of the ovaries, bladder stones, surgical treatment of diseases of the gallbladder. Even in the pre-antiseptic time, he was able to successfully carry out such major operations as the removal of the ovary, which was not done by many of the largest clinics in Europe. Nikolai Vasilyevich devoted a lot of his strength to the development of methods of operations on bones, vessels, urinary organs, joints, organs of the thoracic and abdominal cavities, the treatment of congenital defects, for example, cleft palates, and deformities of the extremities. For the first time, he performed a free graft replacement for a congenital defect of the vertebral arches. And his osteoplastic operation to connect bone fragments in case of defects of long tubular bones and false joints forever entered all Russian and foreign textbooks called “Russian Castle” or “Sklifosovsky Castle”. Also, an outstanding Russian doctor has become a pioneer of operations in maxillofacial surgery, especially with significant facial defects. First, he used local anesthesia with a solution of cocaine, made a device to maintain anesthesia, and with his help he performed a rare operation — truncating the halves of the upper jaw.
Sklifosovsky paid particular attention to operations carried out on different organs of the abdominal cavity. To eliminate the negative effects of irritations arising in the course of an operation on the abdominal organs, Nikolai Vasilyevich developed a number of practical recommendations that have retained their importance even now. Among them, the first are measures to prevent the development of toxemia (poisoning of the blood with toxins of bacteria) and the temperature regime of the operating room. The merit of Nikolai Vasilievich was also the emergence of X-ray studies in surgical practice (from 1898 year). And the legendary doctor became the “father” of Russian dentistry and the founder of scientific dentistry - the surgeon was an excellent diagnostician, theorist and “operator” of the new science. He scrupulously expounded all his studies and operations on paper. Sklifosovsky is the author of 114 scientific papers that reflect the innovative ideas and personal experience of an outstanding doctor and have become a valuable contribution to the treasury of world science.
Interesting and organizational measures proposed by an outstanding doctor. Sklifosovsky developed his own methods of care, in which the main role was played: maintaining the morale of the patients and organizing the feeding. Before him, in many clinics, especially for the poor, they rarely operated on, limiting themselves to amputations and the opening of abscesses and leakages. Chambers resembled real gas chambers. Nikolai Vassilievich was one of the first to begin to establish order in medical institutions. Almost the only surgeon of that time after Pirogov, he consistently introduced antiseptic into practice, introduced hot processing of medical linen, dressings and tools in the device with heated air, specially invented by him. Before the operation, Sklifosovsky obliged to thoroughly process the hands of the surgeon and his assistants, use surgical instruments with nickel-plated and smooth surfaces and change them during the operation, use gauze, cotton wool, irrigators (devices for washing cavities and wounds). He ordered dressings to be made only to doctors, and to immediately burn dirty dressings. The attitude of the doctor to the patients is also interesting - Nikolai Vasilyevich had the ability to instantly arrange the patient to himself, to cause in him a feeling of infinite trust and faith in medicine. Sklifosovsky did not tolerate either liberty or rudeness in relation to the sick and in his clinics a strict business atmosphere always reigned.
The discoveries made in the field of surgery required a reorganization of the teaching of medical education. Vast experience allowed Nikolai Vasilievich to find flaws in the training of young personnel and to construct his lectures accordingly, selecting the most instructive examples from practice. In addition to reading the theory, Sklifosovsky paid a lot of attention to practical exercises with students conducted in operating rooms, dressing rooms, and in patients' beds. He sought to personally show and technique of complex operations, and the implementation of simple surgical procedures. Students admired his masterful techniques when operating on hard-to-reach areas. During the operation, he always recommended to the students to remember two rules: “The first is to cut only what you see or feel clearly, and the second is to make every section based on the knowledge of anatomy.” Teaching students the rules of patient care, Nikolai Vasilievich always emphasized the importance of preserving the patient's mind from unnecessary worries. At the end of this training, students were prepared for independent medical practice. During the period of Sklifosovsky's work in Moscow, the number of physicians increased significantly, and many outstanding practical and scientific figures in the field of surgery — Yakovlev, Spizharny, Dobrotvorsky, Sarychev, and many others — graduated from the residency program.
Nikolai Vasilyevich himself, with his devotion to his cause and dedication, won not only All-Russian glory. He was known and loved all over the world: for honesty, for objectivity in scientific work, for modesty and intelligence. Under no circumstances did Sklifosovsky betray his gentlemanly rules, no one saw him hot-tempered or lost his temper. And at the same time, it is known that he was an enthusiastic and emotional person. Even the first operation carried out, as is customary at that time, without chloroform anesthesia, had such a powerful effect on a young student of Sklifosovsky that he lost consciousness. The interests of Nikolai Vasilyevich were also quite extensive - he adored music, literature, painting. His wife, Sofia Alexandrovna, by the way, was the winner of the International Music Competition of the Vienna Conservatory, and her daughter Olga studied with Nikolai Rubinstein. Sklifosovsky's guest was often visited by artist Vasily Vereshchagin, lawyer Anatoly Koni and composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky. The great doctor was friends with Sergei Botkin, stayed up late at night with the composer and at the same time Professor of Chemistry Alexander Borodin, met with Alexei Tolstoy. In the summer, Nikolai Vasilyevich went to rest in his estate in Poltava. It stood on the banks of the Vorskla River, and every day, regardless of the weather, Sklifosovsky went swimming. He swam, by the way, all year round in St. Petersburg and in Moscow. In winter, a hole was made especially for him, and every morning the doctor dipped into ice-cold water.
During the holidays in his estate to live the life of a vacationer who spends his days drinking a cup of tea in conversations with neighbors, Nikolai Vasilyevich did not know how. Every day Sklifosovsky received patients at his home, traveled around the farms and distributed medicines, took birth. Often (surprising fact!) Even paid up sick people. Writing a prescription for the poor man, giving him money for potions and pills for the legendary doctor was the norm. Residents from the surrounding villages, who had never dreamed of a medical assistant, went to him in droves. Sklifosovsky conducted operations of varying degrees of complexity in the Poltava Zemsky hospital.
In 1893, Nikolai Vasilievich returned to St. Petersburg and took the place of director of the Clinical Elepinsky Institute for Advanced Medical Studies, at the same time managing the surgical department there. By the way, having received a new appointment, Sklifosovsky hesitated for a long time with the move - a huge school of pupils and assistants remained in Moscow. But, no matter how difficult it was for him, the famous doctor decided to head the institute, which was not to teach students the basics of medicine, but to train highly qualified doctors and doctors who came here from all over Russia. Nikolai Vasilyevich enthusiastically set to work. For seven years of managing the Institute, Sklifosovsky built new buildings and electrified them, rebuilt operating rooms in accordance with the latest requirements of aseptic surgery, knocked out funds not only for construction, but also to increase salaries and staff, installed the first X-ray room in our country, almost doubled doubled the government subsidy institution. The Institute has become an institution that all of Europe could be proud of. It is not surprising that on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the professorial work among the hundreds of telegrams received by Nikolai Vasilyevich, one of Lausanne said: “You are the head of an institution that is envied by other peoples of Europe”. And in another message it was said: “From the cooled hand of the famous Pirogov, you raised the banner of the teacher of surgery and carried him high in front of numerous comrades-in-arms and students”
As a true scientist, Nikolai Vasilyevich attached great importance to the exchange of observations and experience among surgeons. He was the founder of the Society of Russian Doctors, the founder and chairman of the first and sixth congresses of surgeons of the country, organizer, chairman and participant of the Pirogov congresses. Nikolai Vasilyevich was also an honorary member of twenty different societies of Russian doctors and was an ardent supporter of female education. Thanks to his participation, women’s courses for midwives were opened at the Medical-Surgical Academy, where women could receive higher medical education. The tremendous talent of a public figure and organizer manifested itself in Sklifosovsky during the preparation and conduct of the twelfth International Congress of Surgeons, held in August 1897 in Moscow and attracted a large number of participants. On the eve of the opening of the congress, the grand opening of the monument to Nikolai Pirogov, the first to strengthen the position of domestic surgery as an independent discipline, was held. This monument appeared only thanks to the energy and initiative of Nikolai Vasilievich, who personally achieved the installation of the monument of the “highest permission” and built on the private donations he had collected, and not by government funds. By the way, in Russia it was the first monument to the great doctor. In the presence of major medical figures from all over Europe, Sklifosovsky said at the opening of the monument: “From now on, the gathering of the Russian land is over, and the time of childhood, cultural borrowing and imitation has passed. We have entered the track of independent living. We have our own science, our own literature and art, we have become active and independent in all fields of culture. ... The people who had their own Pirogov have the right to be proud, because this is the name of a whole era of medical science. ”
Nikolai Vassilievich, elected president of the congress, perfectly understood the enormous scientific and political significance of the international congress of doctors who had first met in Russia. This meeting demonstrated to the entire scientific world the significance and strength of Russian science. Foreign doctors were able to see for themselves the achievements of our medicine. The myth of their alleged superiority over the Russian doctors was finally dispelled. Being a true patriot, Nikolai Vasilyevich staunchly defended at the congress the rights of our doctors, whose merits were often forgotten. In particular, he managed to defend the priority of the authorship of the doctor Vladimirov over the German surgeon Mikulich in the invention of the new method of osteoplastic surgery on the foot, which initially only went under the name of a foreigner. The feeling of admiration felt by participants from organizing and holding the congress is evident from the grateful speech of the German scientist Rudolf Virchow, who addressed Sklifosovsky on behalf of the congress: “We found here a president whose authority is recognized by representatives of all fields of medical science, a person who knows all the requirements of medical practice and possessing the spirit of brotherhood and a sense of love for humanity ... Finally, we met here young people, intelligent and strong, prepared for the progress of the future, the hope of this valiant and face of the nation. "
In 1901, Sklifosovsky retired due to his age (he was sixty-sixth year old) and moved to his estate Yakovtsy in the Poltava province, where he spent the last years of his life. The doctor divided his leisure time between activities in the garden (he adored gardening) and the study of the new books on medicine and the surgical journals “The Chronicle of Russian Surgeons” and “The Surgical Chronicle” - the editor and founder of which he was spending large sums of money on their publication. Several apoplexy shots put an end to the life of an outstanding doctor - 13 December 1904 was gone at one in the morning. Sklifosovsky was buried in a place memorable for all of Russia, where the battle of Poltava took place. At the same time, a regular congress of Russian surgeons was held in Moscow. The news of the death of Nikolai Vasilievich overshadowed his discovery. “Undoubtedly, one of the most prominent doctors of our Fatherland died, whose name is in second place after the name of the famous Pirogov,” said at the congress.
Unfortunately, the life of the family of a great doctor was tragic. Nikolai Vasilievich often harassed himself with reproaches that he saw little of his growing children. He often called them his earthly immortality. However, his son Boris died in infancy, Konstantin did not live to seventeen years of age because of kidney tuberculosis, Nicholas was killed in the Japanese war shortly after his father died, Vladimir died in his student years, and Alexander disappeared during the Civil War. The youngest daughter Tamara and the elderly widow Sofia Alexandrovna were brutally murdered by thugs in 1919 in their own home. Of the children of the great surgeon, only the eldest daughter Olga survived to old age. She married a famous doctor and student of Sklifosovsky - Mikhail Yakovlev.
For services to the Fatherland in 1923, the Soviet government assigned the name Sklifosovsky to the Moscow Institute of Emergency Care, based on the base of one of the oldest hospitals in the capital, Sheremetev. Within its walls, assistance was provided to the wounded during World War 1812, the Russian-Turkish war, the Sevastopol campaign, the Russian-Japanese war and the days of the December uprising of workers 1905. The Institute is considered the successor of the development of Sklifosovsky's postulates in the field of military surgery and in the training of general surgeons. The principles of organization of assistance to the wounded laid by Pirogov and Sklifosovsky were in demand during the Great Patriotic War and were implemented in practice by the staff of the institute.
In the seventies of the last century, a monument was erected on the grave of Nikolai Vasilievich Sklifosovsky, in which the inscription was written in Russian and Latin: "Shining light to others, I am burning myself."
According to the materials of the book V.V. Kovanov "Nikolai Vasilievich Sklifosovsky" and the site http://nplit.ru.