Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: blood donation

  • The gift of life—From whom?

    George M. Pantalos Louisville, Kentucky, United States    Students at the “Banned Blood” display outside the University of Louisville Red Barn, where a Red Cross blood drive was being held on campus in 2011. The students’ goal was to raise awareness about the FDA lifetime deferral from blood donation of all men who have sex…

  • Bleeding science dry: The history of scientific racism and blood

    Matthew Casas Kansas City, United States   Help the Red Cross. U.S. Food Administration. Educational Division. Advertising Section. 1917 – 1919. National Archives Catalog, identifier 512661. One might be familiar with the expression “We All Bleed Red.” But what exactly does blood have to say about our “humanity”? Ripe with good intention, the aforementioned mantra…

  • Blood’s journey: From lab technology to industrial technology

    Cristina Sans-Ponseti Barcelona, Spain   Josep Antoni Grifols-Roig at the injection phase of a blood transfusion using his flebula transfusora (Instituto Central de Análisis Clínicos, 1930). Source: Grifols, S.A. Nowadays, it is usual to see donation centers storing blood worldwide. Blood banks meet the demand for blood in order to perform transfusions and produce plasma-based…

  • The paradox of blood donation

    Beukou SteveLimbe, South-West Cameroon “Please I urgently need a donor who is blood group O rhesus negative for my sister to be operated. Please tell any of your friends.” These types of messages have become the newest type of notifications on our social media platforms in Cameroon. The notifications, while made up of  different combinations…

  • Blood beliefs and practices in Iran

    Bahar Dowlatshahi Tehrann, Iran   Circulation of the blood (human). Wellcome Collection. CC BY 4.0. Blood is believed to have special abilities and properties in many eastern countries such as Iran. Even human personality traits, emotions, and relationships are referred to with blood. Angry people boil their blood; those who are kind and loving are called…

  • Blood donation in South Sudan

    Ahmed ElhagLatham, New York, United States When discussing the many challenges surrounding blood donation in South Sudan people tend to focus primarily on infrastructural barriers such as limited health care facilities and lack of investment and medical supplies. However, one important barrier that is often overlooked is the cultural stigma around blood donations. Many people…

  • The past and future of blood banking

    Eva Kitri Mutch Stoddart Saigon, Vietnam   Image from “Clysmatica nova: sive ratio, qua in venam sectam medicamenta immitti possint, ut eodem modo, ac si per os assumta fuissent, operentur: addita etiam omnibus seculis inaudita sanguinis transfusion,” Artist: Elsholtz, Johann Sigismund (1623–1688), 1667. Wellcome Collection. Public domain. Blood oozes allure. The elixir of life, viscous…

  • Defining donation

    Ahmad Shakeri Howsikan Kugathasan Toronto, Canada   Money for blood can be another tool we consider in solving shortage. Image: “Today’s blood on an old receipt – merry christmas!” Photo by carloscappaticci, Dec. 24, 2007, on Flickr. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0. Money was tight in college for my roommate and me. I had a book buying…

  • “The Blood Battle”: Using science to combat the fear of blood

    Kayla Peña Providence, Rhode Island   U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Marcy Copeland/Released. Public domain. Forty years ago, the University of Michigan and Ohio State University competed in their first “Blood Battle.” Although typically known for their football rivalry, in 1982 the universities decided to expand their competition to see which school could…

  • The history and significance of voluntary, non-remunerated blood donation

    Hans Erik Heier Oslo, Norway   Fig. 1. Poster for recruitment of blood donors in Bristol, UK, in 1944. “While we have now begun to understand the cost of everything, we are in danger of losing track of the value of anything” (Ann Oakley and John Ashton, 1993)   Volutary, non-remunerated blood donation in catastrophe…