The History of Blood

  • 100

    Veins and Arteries Discovered

    Veins and Arteries Discovered
    C. 500BC Alcmaeon of Croton, who performs dissections on animals distinguishes veins from arteries.
  • 101

    Hippocrates theorizes on cause of diseases

    C.400BC Hippocrates theorized that the body was made up of four properties: blood, phlegm, black bile, and yellow bile. He stated that the body became sick when the properties were out of balance, and that the cause of illnesses are natural rather than magical, as was popularly believed.
  • 103

    Herophilus performs public dissection

    Herophilus performs public dissection
    C.300BC Herophilus of Chalcedon performs a public dissection on a human cadaver in Egypt. He was able to further differentiate veins and arteries, and named several parts of the brain (ie. the cerebrum).
  • 130

    Galen explains the ventricular system

    Galen explains the ventricular system
    Claudius Galenus finds that blood travels through the arteries, and theorizes that blood is made in the kidneys and travels through the veins to the rest of the body. He states that the systems for veins and arteries are seperate from each other. Not all of Galen's findings were correct.
  • Jan 1, 1200

    Ibn al-Nafis explains pulmonary ciculation

    PDFIbn al-Nafis, a physician from egypt, discovered the correlation between the lungs and blood vessels interacting for blood and air. He also elaborated on the relationship between coronary arteries and cardiac muscle.
  • Jan 1, 1543


    Italian anatomist Andreas Vesalius publishes De Humani Corporis Fabrica. In it, Vesalius produced detailed illustrations of dissections, superior to any that had been produced in that time.

    Italian anatomist, Fabricius, published On the Valves in Veins, which had the first drawings of vein valves.

    William Harvey explained the circulaton of blood within the body and how the heart was responsible for pumping it. It was a landmark discover in the history of physiology.
  • First observation of a RBC

    Jan Swammerdam is accredited with being the first person to observe and describe a red blood cell. He also performed studies on muscle contractions, and was one of the first to use microscopes in his observations.
  • Marcello Malpighi observes capillaries

    Marcello Malpighi observed the capillary system using a rudimentary microscope. He also performed studies on the skin, kidneys, and spleen.
  • first recorded blood transfusion

    Richard Lower, who studied at oxford, performed the first blood transfusion. His patients were two dogs.
  • Human blood transfusion

    Jean-Baptiste Denis performed blood transfusions from animals, such as sheeps and calves, to humans. The patients recieved no ill effects.
  • Blood transfusions banned

    One of Jean-Baptiste Denis' patients died, causing his reputation to be tarnished. He sue, and then the French parliament banned all blood transfusions involving humans.

    Willia Hewson performed research on the coagulation of blood. He provided an expose on what is now commonly known as fibrogen.
  • first human to human blood transfusion

    Philip Syng Physick is given the credit for the first human to human blood transfusion. However ,his work was not published, and only acknowledged in the footnote of a medical journal.
  • First recorded human to human blood transfusion

    James Blundell performed the first officially recorded blood transfusion. He injected a patient suffering from internal bleeding with blood from multiple donors. The patient died.
  • Platelets discovered

    Sir William Osler observed that the clogging in blood vessels resulted from small cells in the bone marrow. The cells are later called platelets.
  • Blood typing

    Karl Landsteiner established three main human blood groups. His discovery is made through agglutination.
  • discovery of AB blood type

    Alfred von Decastello and Adriano Sturli, colleagues of Karl Landsteiner, discover an AB blood type
  • Blood donor matching

    Dr. Ludvig Hektoen suggested that blood donors and patients be checked for compatibility. He performed several successful transfusions.
  • blood coagulation prevention

    Dr. Richard Lewisohn formulated the optimum cuncentration of sodium citrate that can be put into blood to prevent it from coagulating, and still be safe to put in a patient.
  • first blood depot

    Dr. Oswald Robertson collected type O blood for the war effort in WWI, establishing the first blood depot.
  • Blood donor service

    Percy Lane Oliver set up a 24 hour blood donor service in England
  • Blood transfusioin with a cadaver

    Dr. Serge Yudin performed a successful transfusion receiving donor blood from a cadaver. Soviets established a system to collect and store blood.
  • Barcelona Blood-Transfusion Service

    Federico Duran-Jorda set up the Barcelona Blood-Transfusion Service to support the war effort in the Spanish civil war
  • "blood bank"

    Dr. Bernard Fantus coined the term bllod bank to describe the blood collection program he began in chicago.
  • Fractionation

    Edwin Cohn discovers how to seperate plasma. This leads to to the ability to harvest and manufacture antibodies and proteins.
  • Rh blood group discovered

    Drs. Karl Landsteiner and Alexander Wiener discover the Rh blood group, after first becoming aware of an antibody in the blood of a stillborn.
  • red cross civilian blood donor service

    The American Red cross set up a civilian blood donor service to collect blood for the war effort. They collected over 13 million units of blood over the course of the war.
  • plastic bag invented to carry blood

    Dr. Carl W. Walter invented a plastic bag to store blood, as an alternative to glass vials that were fragile and easy to contaminate.
  • Hepatitus B testing

    Dr. Baruch Blumberg discovered a new substance from Hepatitus B that triggered antibodies in the body. From this, a test could be performed to identify those with hepatitus B
  • AIDS cases

    The first cases of AIDS began appearing. The disease was thought to be related to homosexuality because of its prelavance in gay men.
  • Aids virus isolated

    Researchers at Dr. Luc Montagnier's lab isolate the irus that causes aids. It is labeled LAV (lymphadenopathy-associated virus)
  • T cell discovered

    Dr. Robert Gallo discovers the T cell, and determine that it is the cause of AIDS
  • AIDS testing

    After finding that people were infected with AIDS from blood transfusions, a screen test is set up for donors.