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Blood Transfusion – Past and Present

Dr Alok Bondyopadhyay



Early contributions regarding blood explain some aspects of the old Indian and Aristotelian concepts of blood. According to Indian philosophers and Aristotle, blood is a homogeneous part of the body and produced in the heart, and then it is distributed all over the body, where it functions to nourish the different organs and to induce their growth. But this old method of blood circulation within the body was corrected by William Harvey in 1628. Afterwards, scientists put their efforts in the transfusion of blood to extend the life of human being. But this process is not perfected until the blood group was not discovered till the first part of 19th century. The major challenge at this time was to preserve the blood in blood bank. Several stabilisers were discovered up to 1979 and its shelf life reached to 42 days at room temperature.

Up to date, the blood supply is largely dependent on donations by the people. Several contaminations (eg, bacteria, virus) were found in the blood. So government took over the charge for transfusion and they published guidance to restrict the contamination in blood. In addition, a discussion is made that blood carries various specialised cells.


Key words: : Blood transfusion, blood bank, Ayurveda literature, red blood cells, haemophilia, acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS)


Journal: Medical Glory Vol 6, Issue No 2, April-June, 2022


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