Tag Archives: Transfusion

Drawing blood: depictions of transfusion in contemporary arts

Diana-Andreea Novaceanu Bucharest, Romania   The history of blood transfusion has unfolded in stages, first from experiments on animals, then from animal to human, and finally to transfusion between humans. The subject, in all its intricacy, has been captured by medical illustrators and painters throughout the centuries. Over the course of the last decades, attitudes […]

Blood policies and bioart in the 1900s

Christopher Hubbard Ohio, United States   Image titled The Army Blood Transfusion Service Needs Blood Donors. Image located from the Digital Public Library of America. Rights: unrestricted. Policies related to blood that were adopted in the U.S. during the early to mid-1900s produced cultural and legal effects for certain populations. In 1920, for example, the […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

Anne McLaren, transfusion, transplantation, and the nature of blood

Matthew Holmes Cambridge, UK   What happened during a transfusion or transplantation between different individuals, or even members of different species? For centuries some thought that hereditable characteristics might cross between individuals or species in this manner. This belief found fresh impetus in Marxist biology during the Cold War. Anne McLaren, Oxford-trained zoologist and first […]

The International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent

Mawuli Tettey Ghana   The Red Cross Society is a worldwide humanitarian and volunteer-based organization that protects human life and health by rendering assistance to anyone who may need it. In 1862, a Swiss man named Jean-Henri Dunant published a book titled A Memory of Solferino in which he called for the creation of national […]

Vampires and Blood Trafficking: the International Red Cross campaign against Third-world plasma collection in the 1970s

William Schneider Indianapolis, Indiana, United States   1986 photo of Hantchef and successors as head of IFRC Blood program (Cropped) left to right: Evelyn von Steffens (technical adviser), Juhani Leikola (Hantchef’s successor), Polly Dussan (secretary to Leikola), Tony Britten (Leikola’s successor) and Zarco Hantchef. Source: Juhani Leikola One of the cornerstones of the WHO Blood […]

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 […]