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Thursday, 27 December 2012

Blood Transfusion

According to some sources, the first blood transfusion took place in 1492, when Pope Innocent VIII was given the blood of three ten-year-old boys. The evidence for this story is unreliable and may have been motivated by anti-semitism.

Frenchman Dr. Jean-Baptiste Denys, the physician to King Louis XIV, administered on June 15, 1667 the first ever documented blood transfusion from animal to human. He injected into the veins of a dying 15-year old boy eight ounces of lamb’s blood and temporarily succeeded in restoring him. However the boy subsequently died and Denis was accused of murder.




After Jean Baptiste Denis’ pioneering blood transfusion, many attempts were made throughout Europe to improve on his procedure. However so many patients died from the resulting incompatibility reactions that by the turn of the 18th century, the process was banned in England and France.

William Halsted administered the first blood transfusion in the United States in 1881, after discovering that blood, once charged with air, can be reintroduced into a patient's body.


British poster encouraging people to donate blood for the war effort.


Bill Haast, known as the Snake Man, injected himself with venom every day for 60 years. He has been credited for saving numerous lives by donating his blood which is rich in antibodies.

1 in 10,000 units of blood that are transfused in the US are the wrong kind of blood for the patient.

It was tradition in Ireland that if you donated a pint of blood, you'd receive a pint of Guinness to replace the lost iron.

Greyhounds are universal blood donors and can donate blood to almost any other breed of dog.

Cats have only three blood types: A, B, and AB. 94-99% of all US domestic cats are type A. Type AB is the rarest. There is no universal donor type.

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