A Brief History of Blood Transfusions

More

For the first time, artificial blood has been successfully transplanted into a human, New Scientist reports today. This is a major step toward a future in which blood can be created in a lab and donations are no longer necessary.

Blood transfusions have been possible for about 200 years, beginning in England, where physician James Blundell performed the first transfusion, transferring blood from a husband to his wife after she suffered blood loss during childbirth. It wasn't until 1901 that scientists discovered the variations in blood types, helping to make blood transfusions a less risky procedure. Today, about 15 million units of blood are donated every year in the United States.

In the above gallery we look at some of the images -- startling, inspiring, and sometimes tragic -- from the history of this medical technology.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Rebecca J. Rosen is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where she oversees the Business Channel. She was previously an associate editor at The Wilson Quarterly.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

The Time JFK Called the Air Force to Complain About a 'Silly Bastard'

51 years ago, President John F. Kennedy made a very angry phone call.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.

Video

What Makes a Story Great?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life reflect on the creative process.

Video

Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.

Video

Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in Technology

Just In