L’Hôpital des Enfants-Malades, Paris
“The Hôpital des Enfants-Malades founded in 1802 on the Rue de Sévres in Paris was the first hospital especially established for the treatment of sick children.
“The building that was to become the first children’s hospital was not a new one. It was originally known as the Maison Royale de l’Enfant-Jésus founded in 1722 by Abbé Languet de Gregy as a work shelter for 100 poor Parisian women. These women were employed in the spinning of flax and cotton, an effort that soon became a financially profitable venture.
“During the French Revolution the Maison Royale de l’Enfant-Jésus was taken over by the civil authorities to be used for the storage of coal and as a garage for carriages. Soon afterward, in July 1795, the building was refurbished by a decree of the Revolutionary Public Health Commission to serve as a central orphan asylum (Maison Nationale des Orphelins) for 436 children and was so used until April 29, 1802. On that date, by a decree of the Conseil Général des Hôpitaux, the orphans were to be moved to another institution in Paris and the building was then to become the Hôpital des Enfants-Malades to be used exclusively for the care of sick children of both sexes under 15 years of age. The number of beds was fixed at 300; there were 59 staff members including two clinicians and one surgeon.1
“Over the years since 1802 many new buildings have been added but part of the original building remains today.
“Many famous French physicians have worked at the Hôpital des Enfants-Malades including Armand Trousseau, Henri Roget, Anatole Chauffard, Bernard Marfan, and Paul Broca.”
— Noted by T. E. C. Jr., Pediatrics 67(5):670, 1981.