Jacob Moritz Blumberg

Jacob Moritz Blumberg (1873 – 1955) was a Polish-German surgeon and gynaecologist.

pioneering work in pre-natal clinics and creator of the diagnostic sign that bears his name for rebound tenderness.

humanitarian achievements on behalf of World War I POWs for the prevention of typhus.


  • Born 27 June 1873, Poznań (Posen), Poland
  • 1897 – Graduated medicine from University of Breslau, Wroclaw
  • 1908 – Birth of eldest son Dr Ernst Friedrich Blumberg (1908–1973), also a notable surgeon, gynaecologist and radium therapist
  • 1948 – Naturalised to Britain Nationality (24th August, 1948)
  • Died 1955 London, UK

Medical Eponyms

Blumberg sign (1907)

Rebound tenderness test (Blumberg sign) is a clinical sign which may be elicited on physical examination and may be indicative of peritonitis. Deep palpation of the viscera over the suspected inflamed appendix followed by sudden release of the pressure causes the severe pain on the site.

Blumberg believed that pain in the lower abdomen after abrupt withdrawal of the hand from the lower abdominal quadrant was a sign of appendicitis. Performed by gradually increasing the pressure of the palpating hand over the tender spot, and then removing abruptly. If the patient winces with pain upon withdrawal of the hand, the test is positive indicating a likelihood of peritonitis

Zunächst einen Druck auf die zu untersuchende Stelle des Abdomens auszuüben und den Patienten zu fragen, ob es schmerzt, dann nach erhaltener Antwort die palpierende Hand plötzlich abzuheben und nun sich von dem Patienten sagen zu lassen, ob im Moment des Abhebens es geschmerzt habe, resp welcher Schmerz grösser gewesen sei.

Die Methode lässt sich mit grösster Exaktheit anwenden, da es sich ja nicht um die Beurteilung der Grösse eines Schmerzes handelt, sondern um den Vergleich der Intensität zweier Schmerzen, und diese Angabe wird von den Patienten sehr zuverlässig gemacht.

1907; 54: 1177-1178

First of all exert pressure on the area of ​​the abdomen to be examined and ask the patient whether it hurts, then suddenly raise the palpating hand after receiving the answer and now let the patient tell you whether it hurt at the moment of lifting off or what pain was greater.

The method can be used with the greatest accuracy, since it is not a matter of assessing the size of one pain, but of comparing the intensity of two pain, and this information is very reliably given by the patient.

1907; 54: 1177-1178

Key Medical Contributions

Rubber gloves

Military camp first world war

Major Publications




the person behind the name

Emergency physician MA (Oxon) MBChB (Edin) FACEM FFSEM with a passion for rugby; medical history; medical education; and asynchronous learning #FOAMed evangelist. Co-founder and CTO of Life in the Fast lane | Eponyms | Books | Twitter |

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