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The History of Blood

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    Arteries & Veins

    Arteries & Veins
    In 500 BCE, Greek thinker Alcmaeon of Croton observed the arteries and veins by dissecting animals in his spare time and discovered that the arteries and veins are unalike.
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    From 130-200 CE, Galen dissected and experimented on animals, and proved that arteries contain blood, but also proposed that the system of arteries and veins are distinct.
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    The Egyptians use bleeding to treat patients. Bloodletting, another word for bleeding, is the withdrawal of small quantities of blood from a patient to cure or prevent illness and disease.
  • 101

    Organ of Sense and Matter

    Around 450-400 BCE, Greek Philosopher Empedocles believed that the heart is the organ of sense and theorized that all matter is formed out of earth, fire, air, and water.
  • 102

    The Heart

    The Heart
    In 350 BCE, Aristotle believes that the heart is the central organ of the body. He dissected many different animals and described their anatomical structures from his observations. From findings, he believes that the heart is a three-chambered organ in humans and animals.
  • 103

    Arteries are THICKER

    In 300 BCE, Herophilus of Chalcedon, one of the first people to dissect a human body, discovered that arteries are thicker than veins and they carry blood.
  • Jan 1, 1200

    Pulmonary Circulation

    Pulmonary Circulation
    In the mid 1200s, Eminent Cairo discovers pulmonary circulation, which is the flow of blood to and from the lungs.
  • Jan 1, 1553

    Refuting Galen's Theory

    Theologian Michael Servetus suggests that blood flows from one side of the heart to the other by traveling through the lungs instead of the wall between the ventricles.
  • Red Blood Cells

    Red Blood Cells
    In 1658, Dutch microscopist Jan Swammerdam is the first person to observe and describe red blood cells.
  • Capillary System

    Capillary System
    Anatomist Marcello Malpighi observes the capillary system, a system full of vessels that connect the arteries and veins.
  • Tranfusion with Sheep Blood

    Tranfusion with Sheep Blood
    Drs. Richard Lower and Edmund King gave Arthur Coga, a priest, a transfusion of a few ounces of sheep's blood, and the patient recovered.
  • Red Blood Cells Close Up

    Anton van Leeuwenhoek, a Dutch microscopist, provided a more precise description of red blood cells, revealing their size 25,000 times smaller than a fine grain of sand.
  • First Blood Transfusion

    A note in a medical journal credits physician Philip Syng Physick for performing the first human-to-human blood transfusion, even though his work was not recorded or published.
  • Blood Transfusion

    Blood Transfusion
    Physiologist James Blundell performs the first recorded human-to-human blood transfusion. He uses a syringe and injects a patient suffering from internal bleeding with ounces of blood from donors.
  • Platelets

    Sir William Osler observed that small cell fragments from the bone marrow make up the clots formed in blood vessels, which are called platelets.
  • Blood Types

    Blood Types
    Karl Landsteiner discovers the three main human blood groups A, B, and C, which he later changes to O. He discovers that when groups A and B are mixed, they clump together, but when type O is added to either A or B, it doesn't clump.
  • Blood Type AB

    Blood Type AB
    Alfred von Decastello and Adriano Sturli identify the 4th blood group AB, which causes agglutination in the red cells of A and B.
  • Blood of Donors

    Dr. Ludvig Hektoen recommended checking the blood of donors and recipients for signs of cross matching for future transfusions.
  • Prevent Clotting

    Researchers Albert Hustin and Luis Agote discover that adding sodium citrate to blood will prevent it from clotting.
  • Preventing Coagulation

    Preventing Coagulation
    Dr. Richard Lewisohn formulated the concentration of sodium citrate that can be mixed with donor blood to prevent coagulation, but does no danger.
  • Solution for Blood

    Solution for Blood
    Francis Peyton Rous and J.R. Turner invent a citrate-glucose solution that allows blood to be stored for a few weeks after collection and is still possible for transfusion.
  • First Blood Depot

    While serving in the U.S. Army, Dr. Oswald Robertson collects and stores type O blood with citrate-glucose solution for casualties during the Battle of Cambrai in World War I.
  • Blood Donor Service

    Percy Lane Oliver begins operating a blood donor service. He gathers volunteers that agree to be on 24-hour call and wants to travel to local hospitals to give blood as people need it.
  • Facilities

    The Soviets are the first to establish facilities to collect and store blood for use in transfusions at hospitals.
  • Cadaver Blood

    Cadaver Blood
    At the Sklifosovsky Institute in Moscow, Dr. Serge Yudin is the first to transfuse humans with cadaver blood. He successfully revived a young man attempted suicide by injecting him with blood from a cadaver.
  • Storing Citrated Blood

    A group of anesthesiologists are the first to begin storing citrated blood and utilizing it for transfusions in a hospital.
  • Barcelona Blood Tranfusion Service

    Federico Duran-Jorda establishes the Barcelona Blood-Transfusion Service. They collect blood, test it, organize it by blood group, preserve and store it in bottles under refrigeration, and transport it to the hospitals during the Spanish Civil War.
  • Blood Bank

    Dr. Bernard Fantus starts a blood donation, collection, and preservation facility at Cook County Hospital in Chicago. He also coins the term "blood bank".
  • RH Blood Group

    RH Blood Group
    Drs. Karl Landsteiner and Alexander Wiener discover the Rh blood group from experiments with the red blood cells of monkeys.
  • Pearl Harbor Attack

    Pearl Harbor Attack
    Surgeon Dr. Isidor Ravdin treats victims of the Pearl Harbor attack with albumin to increase blood volume.
  • American Red Cross

    American Red Cross
    In January, the American Red Cross agreed to organize a blood donor service to collect blood plasma for the war. Red Cross collected over 13 million units of blood over the course of the war.
  • American Association of Blood Banks

    American Association of Blood Banks
    Community blood banks join together to form a national network of blood banks called the American Association of Blood Banks.
  • From Glass to Plastic

    From Glass to Plastic
    Dr. Carl W. Walter created a plastic bag for the collection of blood. Glass bottles were used to store blood, but their fragility and susceptibility to contamination influences him to create a stronger and better container from plastic.
  • X-Ray Crystallography

    X-Ray Crystallography
    From the use of x-ray crystallography, Dr. Max Perutz unravels the structure of hemoglobin, the protein within red blood cells that carries oxygen.

    Dr. Robert Gallo reveals that he's identified the virus that causes AIDS, and it's called HTLV III (human T-cell lymphotropic virus).