Bmj Usa: Editor's Choice

News on blood

BMJ 2003; 327 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjusa.01030001 (Published 18 November 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:E7

This article originally appeared in BMJ USA

The Roman physician Galen (ca 130 - 200 CE), considered second only to Hippocrates as a founder of medicine, focused much of his attention on blood. He believed that blood was produced in the liver, that it passed through the heart only once, that it was consumed in the tissues of the body, and that it was imbued with “spirits.” His doctrines remained unchallenged for 1400 years, until William Harvey disproved many of them in his treatise “On the motion of the heart and blood in animals” (1628).

Although Galen did not always get it right, his legacy includes the introduction …

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