Daran, James

, a French military surgeon, who acquired much celebrity for his skill in treating disorders in the urethra, particularly for his improved method of making bougies, was born at St. Frajon in Gascony March 6, 1701, and after studying the art, became surgeon-major | of the imperial troops, and afterwards practised at Milan, and at Turin, where the king Victor Amadeus promised him great encouragement if tie would remain; but at that time he wished to travel for improvement, and after visiting Rome and Vienna, continued some time at Messina, where he exerted his skill and humanity with great success. Having devoted much of his attention to the disorders of the bladder, he published in 1745, “Recueil d‘Observations Chirurgicales sur les Maladies de l’Urethra,” which has been several times reprinted, and in 1750, was translated into English by Mr. Tomkyns, an eminent surgeon of London, who was able, he says, from his own experience, to attest the superior utility of Daran’s bougies over those that had been commonly used. In the fifth volume of the “Journeaux de Medicine,” there is a communication by Daran, in which he makes mention of a tube he had invented for drawing off the urine. This he describes more particularly in his “Treatise on the Gonorrhoea Virulenta,” first published in 1756. It is a flexible catheter, formed of a spiral wire, covered with the same composition as that used in making the bougies, and was capable of being introduced into the bladder, in many cases, where it would have been dangerous, often impossible, to use the common catheter. Considerable improvements have been since made of this instrument, but the merit of the invention still remains with Daran. The fame he acquired, during his residence at Paris, brought a nun her of strangers to visit him, and the profits of his practice were very great; but his charity to the indigent, and an easiness of temper, which led him into speculations, reduced him at last to very low circumstances, and he was comparatively poor when he died, in 1784. It is much to his honour that when thus reduced, and when the infirmities of age were approaching, he divulged, in 1779, the secret of the composition of his bougies in a work entitled “Composition du remede de Daran, &c.” 12mo, when he could derive no benefit except from the sale of his book. His other publications were, 1. “Reponse a la Brochure de Bayet sur la defense et la conservation des parties les plus essentielles de l’homme,1750, 12mo; and 2. “Lettre sur ua article des Tumeurs.1


Dict. Hist. Rees’s Cyclopædia.