Tag Archives: blood

What can physicians learn from Benjamin Rush, blood, and the Red Cross?

Ryan Hill Jamestown, Rhode Island, United States   Portrait by Charles Willson Peale, Benjamin Rush, circa 1818. Independence National Historical Park. Accessed via Wikimedia Commons. Despite the adamant opposition he encountered from many of his contemporaries, Dr. Benjamin Rush was undeterred; he was certain that bloodletting was the most prudent of all medical procedures and remained […]

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 student’s goal was to raise awareness about the FDA lifetime deferral from blood donation of all men who have sex […]

Royal blood: Queen Victoria and the legacy of hemophilia in European royalty

Carys O’Neill Chicago, IL   Portrait of Queen Victoria with her husband, Albert, and nine children at Osborne circa 1857. From left to right: Alice, Arthur, Prince Albert, Albert Edward, Leopold, Louise, Queen Victoria with Beatrice, Alfred, Victoria, and Helena. Known for restoring the reputation of a monarchy tarnished by the extravagance of her predecessors […]

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 history of the Red Cross / Red Crescent in blood

GAP Secretariat Perth, WA, Australia   It has been almost one hundred years since the first Red Cross / Red Crescent (RC/RC) blood transfusion service was established by the British Red Cross in 1921. Today, more than 80% of all Red Cross / Crescent National Societies are operating a blood program as a core health […]

Blood debt

Jules Reich Chicago, Illinois, United States   A patient donating blood, Australia, c. late 1940s. Source: Wikimedia commons In 1937, the first U.S. blood bank opened in Chicago. It was originally called a Blood Preservation Laboratory, but its founder, Dr. Bernard Fantus, changed the name to blood bank. For someone who spent a large part […]

Blood type and personality

Nonoko Kamai Nagoya, Japan   ICS code block for blood bag identification (sample). Photo by ICS International GmbH. 2013. Accessed via Wikimedia Commons. CC BY-SA 3.0. Why do Japanese people believe in a relationship between blood type and personality? Beginning in the 1970s, the blood type personality hypothesis became fashionable in Japan and it is […]

The paradox of blood donation

Beukou Steve Limbe, South-West Cameroon Team HERO Cameroon organizing 2nd annual blood drive 2019     (Source: NGO HERO CAMEROON) Team HERO Cameroon and voluntary blood donors during blood drive 2019 (Source: NGO  HERO CAMEROON) Exchange visit at the National Blood Transfusion Service in Mauritius 2019 (Source: Association of Commonwealth University Summerschool 2019) “Please I urgently […]

Bloody segregation: the story of how Charles Richard Drew found life abundantly

Amy DeMatt Greensburg, Pennsylvania, United States   Charles R. Drew, “Father of the Blood Bank,” as depicted by Betsy Graves Reyneau.  The portrait hangs at the National Portrait Gallery, and, as described by the Gallery, serves as a “visual rebuttal to racism.” Source:  Wikimedia Commons. Portrait of Charles R. Drew, painted by Betsy Graves Reyneau, […]