We are called to serve and we can serve by giving--
In advance of our 100th Anniversary Celebration, St Luke’s will be hosting a Blood Drive on Tuesday, May 2, 2023 from 1:00 pm to 7:00 pm in Fellowship Hall
to sign up online for an appointment, visit redcrossblood.org
Or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
to sign up for an appointment or for further information,
contact Larry Nelson 612-599-5240 email@example.com
Leviticus 17:11 The life of the flesh is in the blood
The history of blood transfusions is an interesting study of myths, traditions and science. The idea of transferring blood to a sick person to restore their health is quite old and was present in ancient myths, including those of Odysseus and Medea.
Ancient peoples were certain of the importance of blood but they knew none of its biology. Blood was hidden, visible only in a wound or during childbirth or menstruation. Some ancient Greeks considered blood to the be the same as the soul or spirit. Observant Jews and Muslims followed dietary laws that forbid the consumption of blood and special preparation of meat was required. These measures also had added health benefits helping to prevent the spoilage of meat. As Christians we connect blood with spiritual life through communion.
Today we know red blood cells carry life giving oxygen to the cells of our body and white blood cells defend us from invasion by foreign pathogens. Platelets help form clots that can prevent bleeding. Blood is constantly being produced by stem cells in our bone marrow. Our network of veins, arteries, and capillaries is about 60 thousand miles long. Blood plasma is a combination of salt and water similar in concentration to water in the sea.
The possibility of successful blood transfusions required significant scientific advances. In 1628 British physician William Harvey discovered the circulation of blood, exploring the relationship between arteries, veins and capillaries. In 1658 microscopist Jan Swammerdam observed and described red blood cells. Soon afterward people became interested in the possibility of blood transfusions.
The first recorded successful blood transfusion was performed in England in 1665 by Physician Richard Lower keeping a dog alive by transfusing blood from another dog. In 1667 successful transfusions were reported from sheep to humans but successive efforts were not successful.
It wasn’t until 1818 that the first successful human to human blood transfusion was performed by British obstetrician James Blundell to a patient for the treatment of postpartum hemorrhage. The blood donor was the husband of the donor. It was fortuitous that this choice was successful (he might have been a universal donor). Successive transfusions were not as successful, however, since not all blood from donors was compatible to the patient.
In 1901, Austrian physician Karl Landsteiner discovered the first human blood groups. Soon after all four blood groups were identified and the interactions between them determined whether a transfusion would be safe. in 1907 Ludwig Hekoen proposed that blood transfusion would be more successful if the blood of the donor and patient were cross matched to exclude incompatible mixtures. This was followed shortly by the first blood transfusion using blood typing and cross matching. It was soon discovered that blood group O is a universal donor. In 1916 the first blood transfusion was performed with stored and refrigerated blood. Another significant discovery occurred in 1937 when the Rh factor explained blood incompatibilities between certain mothers and fetuses, at that time a leading cause of stillbirths.
Today blood can be stored and separated into red cells, platelets and plasma. Plasma can be further processed to treat many health conditions including hepatitis, chickenpox, protein deficiency and hemophilia. Truly, blood donation is the gift of life!
Blood Drive Coordinator
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