Intended for healthcare professionals

Fillers An hour that might have made history

Before transfusion became established procedure

BMJ 1999; 319 doi: (Published 06 November 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;319:1257
  1. Frank Boulton, consultant in transfusion medicine
  1. Southampton

    Between 11 00 am and 12 00 noon on 20 May 1910, Thomas Addis transfused “about 300cc of freshly drawn human phosphated blood” to a patient with haemophilia whose plasma clotting time was thereby shortened from 245 to 24 minutes (normal, 13 minutes). It was 30 minutes two days later, 32 at four days, 55 at eight days, and 200 at 25 days.

    Throughout 1910 Addis was Carnegie research fellow at the laboratories of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, close to the Royal Infirmary at No 2 Forrest Road. The transfusion was his only recorded foray in vivo; he was otherwise investigating the haemophilic abnormality in vitro. His methods with oxalated venous blood plasma …

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