Blood Transfusion Saved Lives During World War One
If war does have a silver lining, it’s the medical advances which come as a result. One of these advances is the blood transfusion.
Blood transfusion was nothing new in 1914. Doctors had experimented with it since the 1600s. These early transfusions were from person to person, and sometimes didn’t work.
Doctors weren’t sure why until blood types were discovered in 1901. Six years later transfusions began being administered according to blood type. Matching blood types dramatically ensured the success of a transfusion.
World War I
In 1914, the year World War I began, a successful anticoagulant was discovered. Finally, blood could be stored.
The first successful blood transfusion of the war was performed in October 1915 by Canadian doctor Lawrence Bruce Robertson at a casualty clearing station.
Robertson published his experience in a British medical journal the following year. With the aid of fellow physicians, Robertson was able to persuade the Royal Army Medical Corps that blood transfusions needed to be given routinely.
The first blood bank was established in 1917 with blood successfully stored for 21 days.
Where to Purchase the WWI Trilogy
This post is a companion piece to Melina Druga’s WWI Trilogy: Angel of Mercy, Those Left Behind and Adjustment Year. The trilogy focuses on Hettie and her family as they navigate the challenges and heartbreak World War I brings.
Angel of Mercy: A nurse reluctantly sacrifices her career for marriage. An impending war will change her, and her husband’s, life forever. Available in eBook, paperback and hardcover. Click here for a full list of retailers.
Those Left Behind: The brewing winds of war will soon rip the family apart. Available in eBook, paperback and hardcover. Click here for a full list of retailers.
Adjustment Year: A war nurse returns home. Society expects her to carry on as if the Great War never happened. But how can she? Available in eBook, paperback and hardcover. Click here for a full list of retailers.