The injection of blood and of various drugs intravenously is one of the oldest therapeutic procedures that is used in modern medicine.
The most complete record of intravenous infusions in the preantiseptic era is found in Fortescue-Brickdale's1 exhaustive study published thirty years ago. He stated that the earliest recorded transfusion was given to Pope Innocent VIII in 1492. The unfortunate outcome to the recipient and to the donors discredited the procedure, and more than a century elapsed before transfusions were again alluded to, this time by de Colle of Padua in 1628. This was a significant date as Harvey's "Exercitatio anatomica de motu cordis et sanguinis" appeared the same year, and the intravenous injection of drugs became a rational procedure. Probably the first experimental infusions were given in 1656 by Christopher Wren (then professor of astronomy at Oxford, but later to achieve fame as England's outstanding architect),
WARTHEN HJ. MASSIVE INTRAVENOUS INJECTIONS: AN EXPERIMENTAL STUDY. Arch Surg. 1935;30(2):199–227. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1935.01180080023002
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