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June 15, 2011 / jmeuropeana

Blood transfusions

On the 15th of June –

in 1667 (!) the first (sheep-to-human) blood transfusion is performed by Dr. Jean-Baptiste Denys. Without any knowledge of blood types, and very little regard for hygiene, receiving or giving blood was an extremely dangerous operation, more of a lottery than anything else, and the subjects are likely to have survived in spite of, rather than thanks to, the transfusion.

Another early experimentor in the field is Fransesco Folli – and Folly would seem an apt name for someone to attempt this at the time.
Francesco Folli

Now donating blood, and the use of that blood in operations etc. is a routine practice, savig many lives throughout the planet. Sometimes it still goes wrong though: blood transfusions have been the transmitter of HIV-infections and been suspected of transmitting Creutzfeld-Jacobs disease.

Sanguine sanguinem sanans. Het Nederlandsche Roode Kruis...
Blood Donors Are Needed Urgently to Save Lives VADS Collection: Imperial War Museum: Posters of Conflict - The Visual Culture of Public Information and Counter Information
Blood transfusion behind Normandy lines
Braun's Bluttransfusionsbesteck


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