|Born||February 21, 1724
|Died||January 16, 1816|
|Doctoral advisor||Jacques-Bénigne Winslow|
|Known for||capsule of Tenon, Hôpital Tenon.|
He studied medicine in Paris, where one of his instructors was Jacques-Bénigne Winslow (1669–1760). For several years he was associated with the Salpêtrière, and in 1757 attained the chair of pathology of the College of Surgery. In 1759 he became a member of the French Academy of Sciences.
In 1788 Tenon published the Mémoire sur les hôpitaux de Paris (Memoirs on the Hospitals of Paris), a treatise that was a concise and detailed account of French hospitals. It was concerned with aspects such as hygiene, patient care and environmental conditions of hospitals. The publication was a catalyst in regards to efforts made for replacement of the Hôtel-Dieu of Paris, being decided by a committee from the Academy of Sciences, whose members were Tenon, along with famous scientists that included Antoine-Laurent de Lavoisier (1743–1794), Charles-Augustin de Coulomb (1736–1806) and Pierre-Simon Laplace (1749–1827).
In the 18th century, the Hôtel-Dieu was notoriously overcrowded, unsanitary and susceptible to fire. Architect Bernard Poyet (1742–1829) proposed a new Hôtel-Dieu on Île des Cygnes on the Seine River at a price of 12 million livres, while members of the Academy planned for four new hospitals at distances far from the Seine (Saint-Louis in the north, Holy-Anne in the south, the Roquette in the east, and in the west the abbey of Holy-Périne of Chaillot). Although plans for building the four new hospitals to replace the Hôtel-Dieu initially looked promising, the project was met with resistance and eventually shelved in the early 1790s.
Today, the Hôpital Tenon in Paris is named after him, as is the capsule of Tenon, a membrane that envelops the posterior five-sixths of the eyeball. He provided a description of the "capsule of Tenon" in 1805.
- Transfer of the Hotel Dieu; Google Books
- Simonsz, H J (2003), "First description of eye muscle 'poulies' by Tenon in 1805.", Strabismus (Mar 2003) 11 (1): 59–62, doi:10.1076/stra.184.108.40.20692, PMID 11939139
- Roth, A; Mühlendyck, H; De Gottrau, Ph (2002), "[The function of Tenon's capsule revisited]", Journal français d'ophtalmologie (Nov 2002) 25 (9): 968–76, PMID 12515947
- Dechaume, M; Huard, P; Imbault-Huart, M J (1978), "[Jacques-René Tenon, odontologist and stomatologist]", Actualités odonto-stomatologiques (Jun 1978) (122): 221–33, PMID 362836
- Greenbaum, LS (1975), ""Measure of civilization": the hospital thought of Jacques Tension on the eve of the French Revolution", Bull Hist Med (Spring 1975) 49 (1): 43–56, PMID 1093584