IRRC No. 7

The gift of blood and some international aspects of blood transfusion

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Mention of blood transfusion is to be found from the very beginning of medicine. In fact, tradition has it that Aesculapius used venous blood for therapeutic ends. Pythagoras, and later Ovid, tell of the miraculous results obtained from the practice of transfusion. There is the widely known primitive custom, still practised in Europe less than five centuries ago, which consisted of drinking the blood of one's adversary in order to acquire his virtues.

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