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November 16, 1929


Author Affiliations

From the Division of Medicine, the Mayo Clinic.

JAMA. 1929;93(20):1517-1522. doi:10.1001/jama.1929.02710200001001

The importance of Harvey's demonstration of the circulation of the blood was early recognized by Robert Boyle and by Christopher Wren.1 They realized the possibility of intravenous medication and injected drugs intravenously into experimental animals. Their discussions regarding this subject evidently had a stimulating influence on other scientists and physicians of that day, for in the year 1665 Richard Lower2 performed the first direct transfusion of blood from one animal to another. Within two years, Denis of Paris carried out a similar transfusion from a sheep into a man without mishap. This therapeutic procedure was repeated on several occasions, but because of a fatal reaction the French civil authorities banned the further practice of transfusion in man. Experiences with infusion medication in different diseases gradually grew in number, but during the entire eighteenth century the attention of the medical profession was focused on bloodletting to the neglect of

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