Biographical Sketch: Harald Tscherne, MD (1933–Present)
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This biographical sketch on Prof. Harald Tscherne corresponds to the historic text, The Classic: Der Straßenunfall [Traffic Accidents]. Wien Med Wochenschr. 1966;116:105–108 (Translated by Dr. Roman Pfeifer), available at DOI 10.1007/s11999-013-3012-9.
KeywordsTraffic Accident Orthopaedic Trauma Deutsche Gesellschaft Rescue Team Medical Graduate School
In 1979, Prof. Tscherne served as president of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Unfallchirurgie (German Trauma Association) and in 2000 as president of the European Society for Trauma and Emergency Surgery. He is a corresponding member of the Orthopaedic Trauma Association (United States) and an honorary member of the Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Osteosynthesefragen (AO Foundation).
This month’s symposium is dedicated to Prof. Tscherne. For The Classic, we published a translation of one of his earliest articles, “Der Straßenunfall” [Traffic Accidents] . “Numerous studies have demonstrated that 15% to 25% of traffic fatalities are preventable,” he wrote.
Prof. Tscherne recognized the importance of the pre-hospital treatment of these patients to save additional lives, and outlined a scheme for systematic care. While we might take these steps for granted today, systematic care of the seriously injured was not routine at the time: most articles focused on hospital or post-hospital care.
It is difficult to overestimate the role Prof. Tscherne played in major improvements to the care of trauma patients, from pre-hospital care and transport, to emergency care, to definitive care, and rehabilitation. Owing in part to the many people who trained with him or came under his influence, these improvements have been introduced worldwide. Countless patients have survived life- and limb-threatening injuries because of the systems Prof. Tscherne instituted and the methods he developed. Those patients and trauma surgeons everywhere owe him a debt of gratitude.
- 1.Haas NP, Südkamp N. A man with a vision—a tribute to Harald Tscherne. AO Foundation. Available at: https://www2.aofoundation.org/AOFileServer/PortalFiles?FilePath=/Extranet/en/_att/wor/act/Dialogue/2000_2/harald_tscherne.pdf. Accessed January 13, 2013.