This Month in Medical History: The bloody history of James Blundell

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Ce mois dans des antécédents medicaux : L'histoire sanglante de James Blundell

par Joanna Padovano, Reporter | September 13, 2011
From the September 2011 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

As for Blundell, later in his career he worked with Samuel Lane, an English physician who used blood transfusions to treat people with hemophilia. Blundell also contributed to improvements in the fields of gynecology, obstetrics, and abdominal surgery. In 1838 he became a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians; he died four decades later.

Since then doctors have continued to make advancements in the practice of blood transfusions. During the 1970s it became possible to separate the different components of blood, including red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and plasma, using a process called apheresis. More recently, tests were developed to detect viruses, such as HIV and Hepatitis B, in donated blood.

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Although the once controversial procedure is now extremely common, there are still certain groups today, who do not support the concept of donating or accepting blood due to personal beliefs.

Religious beliefs aside, no one can deny that blood transfusions are extremely beneficial in the world of medicine and have saved countless lives over the years, thanks in part to the pioneering work of James Blundell in the nineteenth century.

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