fact no.19


On this day in 1818, 199 years ago, the first ever transfusion of human blood was performed at Guy’s Hospital in London by, James Blundell.

James Blundell was an English Obstertrician who performed the first ever successful blood transfusion of human blood into a patient for treatment of a Haemorrhage.


James suggested that a blood transfusion would be the best appropriate idea to treat any patient with a severe Haemorrhage. Blundell had witnessed many of his own patients dying during childbirth and he found himself determined to develop a remedy to stop this. He was however very familiar with work of Leacock in Edinburgh, he had said that the transferring of blood from one person to another would be harmful to the person recieveing. Therefore, James set out a series of experiments where he used animals and then observed this. He noted that as long as the blood was transferred quickly the transfusion could be successful with a syringe. There is some conflict between whether his first successful transfusion occurred in 1818 or 1829, it would seem more likely that in 1829 James had performed the FIRST successful human to human transfusion and, 1818 was the first blood transfusion.Blundell then became the author of Researches Physiological and Pathological in 1824 and wrote two papers on abdominal surgery and blood transfusion, both edited by S. Ashwell. His later publications include Principles and Practice of Obstetricy in 1834 and Observations on some of the More Important Diseases of Women in 1837. In using the uterine sound for diagnostic purposes, he was considered more advanced than other obstetricians of the day.

With love, Charlotte x