John Cheyne (physician)

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John Cheyne
John Cheyne by W Deey.jpg
John Cheyne
Engraving by John Cochran after a portrait by W. Deey
Born 3 February 1777
Leith, Scotland
Died 31 January 1836 (1836-02-01) (aged 58)
Buckinghamshire, England
Residence British
Alma mater Edinburgh University
Known for Cheyne–Stokes respiration
Scientific career
Fields medicine

Dr John Cheyne FRSE (3 February 1777 – 31 January 1836) was a British physician, surgeon and author of monographs on a number of medical topics. He was one of the people to identify Cheyne–Stokes respiration.


He was born in Leith, the son of Dr John Cheyne, a surgeon.[1] The family lived at New Key (Quay) in the middle of the Shore.[2] He was educated at Leith Grammar School then the High school in Edinburgh.[3]

Having grown up around medical practice he was able to enter Edinburgh University at the age of 15, graduating as a doctor at 18 years of age. He joined the army and worked as a surgeon with an artillery corps. He was present at the Battle of Vinegar Hill. Cheyne rejoined his father's practice four years later in 1799.

Ten years later, Cheyne moved to Dublin and in 1811 began working at the Meath Hospital. He also taught war medicine and was appointed Physician General to British forces in Ireland in 1820. He retired to England in 1831 following a course of ill health and died at his country estate a few years later.

Cheyne wrote a number of books, including Essays of Diseases of Children in 1801. He was also the author of an early treastise on the larynx in 1809, Pathology of the Membrane of the Larynx and Bronchia. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1814.

With Francis Barker, he published a two-volume work on fever epidemics in Ireland, in 1821.[4]

He died in Sherrington.[5]




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