Tag Archives: blood transfusions

Karl Landsteiner and the discovery of blood groups

Safia Benaissa Mostganem, Algeria   Karl Landsteiner (1868–1943), Austrian pathologist, hematologist and serologist; discoverer of the blood groups. Albert Hilscher. circa 1910. Accessed via Wikimedia Commons Karl Landsteiner was the Austrian scientist who recognized that humans had different blood groups and made it possible for physicians to transfuse blood safely. He entered medical school at […]

Diamond-Blackfan anemia and tap shoes

Jill Purtee Surprise, Arizona, United States   Tap Shoes. Siaron James. 2003. CC BY 2.0 Forty years ago I worked in a four-bed pediatric intensive care unit nestled in the pediatric ward. Every few weeks amongst the beeps and alarms, I heard the clicking of tap shoes coming down the pediatric ward hallway. My morning […]

The sanctity of blood: Jehovah’s Witnesses and bloodless medicine

Margo A. Peyton Baltimore, Maryland, United States   Dr. Steven Frank in the operating room at The Center for Bloodless Medicine and Surgery at the Johns Hopkins Hospital.  Source Tammy said that her throat looked like that of a bullfrog croaking on an August night. At her local emergency room, her blood pressure was 240/40 […]

Blood on the road

Anne Marie Appelgren Málaga, Spain   The modified Ford station wagon, used as a blood transfusion transport in the name of the international Red Cross in Spain 1937. To the right we see Norman Bethune and far right Hazen Sise. “The wounded are dying, searching for blood. Now the blood can move, now the blood […]

A history of blood transfusion: a confluence of science—in peace, in war, and in the laboratory

Kevin R. Loughlin Boston, Massachusetts   Figure 1- Blood Transfusions -WWI East Sussex. Photo from Wellcome Images.  Accessed 10/15/2019. The rudimentary lights provided only dim illumination of the operative field. The three British army surgeons worked feverishly to save the life of the young soldier, Corporal Smith, who had a significant liver injury. He had […]

The Rh factor: An intertwined history

Paula Carter Chicago, Illinois   Lucy Reyburn Rittgers and two of her daughters, circa 1948. Source: Family photo In 1924, Lucy Reyburn gave birth to her first child, a daughter she named Darlene. Lucy lived in Iowa and the birth was an embarrassment. She had become pregnant and hurriedly married a man who left before […]

Christopher Wren and Blood Circulation

Richard de Grijs Sydney, Australia Daniel Vuillermin Beijing, China   An early instance of blood transfusion from lamb to man. (Credit: Wellcome Collection. CC BY 4.0) “A young man of marvellous gifts who, when not yet sixteen years of age, advanced astronomy, gnomonics, statics, and mechanics by his distinguished discoveries, and from then on continues […]

First blood

John Graham-Pole Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada   Hospital for Sick Children, Great Ormond Street, London, 1970: I’m astounded I’ve landed one of the coveted G.O.S. senior resident jobs. The academic nature of the place immediately daunts me. Everyone bows down to its status as the foremost pediatric research hospital in Europe, perhaps in the world, […]