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REVIEW ARTICLES
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 223-229

Blood transfusion and venous cannulation — medical publication and innovation across 350 years of history: A narrative review


1 Faculty of Medicine, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia; Department of Anaesthesia and Perioperative Medicine, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, Herston, Queensland, Australia; Faculty of Medicine, Udayana University, Sanglah General Hospital, Bali, Indonesia
2 Faculty of Medicine, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
3 Faculty of Medicine, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia; Department of Anaesthesia and Perioperative Medicine, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, Herston, Queensland, Australia
4 Faculty of Medicine, Udayana University, Sanglah General Hospital, Bali, Indonesia; Department of Anesthesia, Onze-Lieve-Vrouw Hospital, Aalst, Belgium
5 Faculty of Medicine, Udayana University, Sanglah General Hospital, Bali, Indonesia; Faculty of Medicine, University of New South Wales, Kensington, NSW, Australia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Andre Van Zundert
Faculty of Medicine, The University of Queensland, Brisbane. 20, Weightman St, Herston QLD, 4006.
Indonesia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/bjoa.BJOA_39_21

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This article reviews historical milestones during the last 350 years starting with early experiments in intravenous injections of drugs and blood transfusion conducted in a climate of scientific discovery rather than clinical application. Technical problems encountered during attempts of vascular cannulation and a lack of knowledge of physiology resulted in complications related to intravenous access, sometimes fatal, which resulted in a complete ban on blood transfusion in Europe for 150 years. Meticulous documentation of these first 17th century experiments was published in Britain, in the “Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London,” the oldest continuously published scientific journal still in existence, and in France, in the “Journal des Sçavans.” These journals became the primary means of communication of scientific research and letters amongst the community of scientists. Intravenous therapy marked the start of the first primitive anesthetic and laid the foundations for anesthesia and blood transfusion, although their clinical application came centuries later. Successful intravenous anesthesia was established around the turn of the 19th century. Brave men in the 17th century endeavored to awaken the spirit of inquiry and research among their peers at the Royal Society of London. Thanks to these bold medical men acting at a time of accelerated change, there was a great impact on clinical practice in many medical fields. Anesthesia now bears the fruits of these initial experiments so that, ultimately, anesthetists can provide safe and effective anesthesia while delivering anesthetic drugs, intravenous fluids, and blood transfusions for the benefit of patients.


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