How did they solve the problem of Blood Loss?

The influence of War on surgery.
In 1901 Karl Landsteiner discovered the ABO
blood groups. This explained why blood was
not always compatible.
However, although blood transfusions were
now possible, the patient and donor had to be
in the same place. When they tried to store
blood it clotted and could not be used.
This problem was solved during the First
World War. Why then?
1. - The addition of sodium citrate to blood
prevented it from clotting. A sodium citrate glucose
solution allowed blood to be stored for several days.
This led to the first blood banks being set up.
2 – Scientists learned how to separate and store
blood cells. The cells were bottled and stored in ice.
They only had to be diluted with a warm saline
solution to be ready to use. This helped to save
many lives both in the trenches and on the operating
There was another problem caused by World
War I…
Harold Gillies
Queen’s Hospital, Sidcup.
Reconstructive surgery was the beginning of
today’s plastic surgery.
He treated over 2000 men injured at the Battle
of the Somme.
Developed pedicle surgery.
In peacetime
surgeons work
alone and in
competition with
one another. In
war they unite and
share ideas to help
their own soldiers
In wartime industry
devotes resources
to developing new
surgical equipment.
Why does WAR improve
Surgeons do more
operations and are
prepared to have
to work harder.
Extension: ‘War helped more than it hindered
developments in medicine.’ Explain, with
examples, how far you agree with this
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