On this day in history : 25th September 1818 – Obstetrician James Blundell performs the first successful transfusion of human blood at Guy’s Hospital, London….

James Blundell (Physician) – engraved by John Cochran after Henry Room – Public domain

Blundell performed the procedure on a woman who had haemorrhaged during childbirth…. However, it was not the first ever successful blood transfusion to be done…. The first is attributed to British physician Richard Lower in 1665 – who bled a dog almost to the point of death and then by transfusing blood from another dog managed to revive it….

And in 1667, Jean-Baptiste Denis, physician to King Louis XIV transfused the blood of a sheep to a 15-year-old boy…. He repeated the process on a labourer….both patients survived their transfusions….

An early blood transfusion from lamb to man – Image credit : Wellcome Collection CC BY

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