Source: AABB homepage (aabb.org).
1628 English physician William Harvey discovers the circulation of blood. Shortly afterward, the earliest known blood transfusion is attempted.
1665 The first recorded successful blood transfusion occurs in England: Physician Richard Lower keeps dogs alive by transfusion of blood from other dogs.
1667 Jean-Baptiste Denis in France and Richard Lower in England separately report successful transfusions from lambs to humans. Within 10 years, transfusing the blood of animals to humans becomes prohibited by law because of reactions.
1795 In Philadelphia, American physician Philip Syng Physick, performs the first human blood transfusion, although he does not publish this information.
1818 James Blundell, a British obstetrician, performs the first successful transfusion of human blood to a patient for the treatment of postpartum hemorrhage. Using the patient's husband as a donor, he extracts approximately four ounces of blood from the husband's arm and, using a syringe, successfully transfuses the wife. Between 1825 and 1830, he performs 10 transfusions, five of which prove beneficial to his patients, and publishes these results. He also devises various instruments for performing transfusions and proposed rational indications.
1840 At St. George's School in London, Samuel Armstrong Lane, aided by consultant Dr. Blundell, performs the first successful whole blood transfusion to treat hemophilia.
1867 English surgeon Joseph Lister uses antiseptics to control infection during transfusions.
1873-1880 US physicians transfuse milk (from cows, goats, and humans).
1884 Saline infusion replaces milk as a “blood substitute” due to the increased frequency of adverse reactions to milk.
1900 Karl Landsteiner, an Austrian physician, discovers the first three human blood groups, A, B, and C. Blood type C was later changed to O. His colleagues Alfred Decastello and Adriano Sturli add AB, the fourth type, in 1902. Landsteiner receives the Nobel Prize for Medicine for this discovery in 1930.
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