America's very first president, George Washington, laid on his deathbed on December 14, 1799. It had a severe sore throat and terrible fever. My six in the morning George Washington's Dr. believed it was time for bloodletting. "Bloodletting" means purposely making incisions in a patient's arm and draining their blood. A myth had arisen centuries before around me practice of bloodletting to remove "bad humors." In ancient times people believe that illness was due to "bad humors" that resided in the blood and elsewhere. My draining blood from a patient the patient's bad humors would be released from the body, or so the story goes.
In this case Washington was not a good candidate for bloodletting considering his age condition. His physician drained 18 ounces of blood and Washington's condition did not improve. Twice more of the conscientious physician grain Washington's lifeblood and neither time that his condition improved. We can only imagine that our first president suffered mightily as his throat became inflamed as the epiglottis grew with infection. Finally upon the fourth bloodletting, Washington gasped as last.
Now can you imagine Orange County or Los Angeles County doctors performing bloodletting on their patients these days? We might imagine that San Diego County native peoples and emigrating Spaniards suffered bloodletting. Because when the early Spanish emigrants strode onto San Diego beaches, the native people probably stared in disbelief at these invaders powerful weapons and appearance. We might imagine that bloodletting became part of the native ritual as the Spaniards impose their culture upon these native people. We can imagine that village which doctors stared in disbelief as Spanish doctors force their primitive bloodletting medicine upon the suffering Indians.
In the case of Washington, to regress, a blood transfusion would've been preferable to bloodletting. And the possibility of a blood transfusion at that time is not so far-fetched. More than 130 years earlier, between 1665 and 1668, Europe was abuzz with excitement with the possibility that blood transfusions had arrived. French and English natural philosophers, other wise known as "scientists," trying to outdo one another with learning the secrets to blood transfusion and the nature of human blood. In these days blood cleanup was a common occurrence in Laborde Tories as both dogs and humans were subjects of wow died physicians performing bloodletting in blood transfusions among and between species. Before long they had hope that blood secrets would be no one by experimenting until the rates the first successful transfusion in humans.
Even the famous British Royal Society physicians were known to inject many types of fluids into the veins of animals. Beer, wine, opium, milk, Merkley, and most probably year and were injected into dogs and cats. They even transfer blood in transfusions between small dogs to large dogs and large dogs and small dogs old dogs would serve as blood sources for young dogs and vice versa. In France the science of blood research followed canine transfusion with unbelievable and terrible results.
Then, a young physician by the name of Jean-Baptiste Denis transfused the first animal to human experiment.
A 15-year-old boy survived the first lambs blood transfusion into the remains this naïve boy. The results were stunning at first. The boys survived but soon Denis would reach his apogee of success. On a mentally ill man 34 years of age named Antoine Mauroy, Kaz blood was transfused. After an ounce of blood had been transfused into the man's arm. It looked pretty good the next morning. Then, wouldn't you know Mauroy died. And as the French legal system would have it, young Dr. was accused of murder, but cleared of any crimes by a sympathetic terrorist judge. At this time the idea transfusion became less important than other medical matters. It would take a backseat for over a century.
Most people understand that suicide hurts its survivors deep down. We know this too because of our experience and losses to suicide. We are cleaners. We cannot ease the pain. We can, though, help the healing process to begin by returning the scene to a biologically safe condition.
Sometimes friends and relatives will ask us why we charge different rates for cleaning.
It is the additional cleaning that causes us to raise prices. Besides cleaning, more labor may be involved with special requests, sealing, and chasing effluents.
Who is the victim?
Who is the responsible party?
Where is the wound?
What type of weapon was used?
Where did this suicide occur?
How long was the deceased down?
Of course, the weapon used will influence the amount of cleaning involved in death a cleanup. Imagine the difference between a handgun suicide and a shotgun suicide, both using the head as their target. Now imagine that the handgun victim used a small caliber handgun and placed a jacket over their head before pulling the trigger.
In this case, the 22 caliber handgun has a low velocity. This means that the projectile moves slowly when compared to larger handguns. At times, the 22 caliber handgun's projectile will not exit the victim's head because of the victim's head size, and the trajectory of the projectile. The human skull is quite thick and a small projectile will enter the skull, given enough velocity. The projectile may not exit the skill, given the projectiles velocity. Some deaths occur as a victim places a jacket, towel, or blanket over their head before pulling the firearm's trigger. Of course, these are planned out suicides, not homicides involving a second party. In most cases, fabrics act to shield the surrounding area from bio-waste debris. They also play a small part in slowing the projectile, if significant at all.
A significant amount of bio-waste from the impact of the small projectile to the covered head remains near the victim because of the caliber of the handgun and the head cover.
Imagine the shotgun suicide victim without the head cover. Also, a large caliber shotgun will cause a greater degree of debris spread. Usually, a shotgun will cause a 360 degree, ceiling to floor spread of human bio-waste. If a closet door is open, if a bathroom door is open, or if drawers are left open, the amount cleaning will be much greater than in the above case.
In this last case, we "chase effluents," blood and other potentially infectious materials (OPIM).
So how did medical practitioners reach the point at which they no longer relied on bloodletting? This point did not come easily because age-old superstitions required on penning from their stake in places. Natural philosophers, as they were called back then, tussled with nature's troops. And at some point they overcame their disagreements about bloodletting.
We know that William Harvey's experiments with human blood and its circulation in the body played a role in overcoming the old superstitions.
In the first half of the 1700s Harvey's understanding of the human body led to a letter finding that human blood circulated in an organized channeled manner. Meanwhile René Descartes had proclaimed that the mind and body were separated and that the body was essentially a machine. So as humanity strove into the age we call the "Enlightenment" researchers soon began to look at organisms as tiny machines and great machines. The machine age had arrived with the modern era.
Some people say that a perfect storm had arrived in Europe between France and England, Catholics and Protestants, and especially, science and superstition. And at the heart of this perfect storm we find blood transfusion.
Change did not come quickly or easily. Some 17th-century physicians and ruling class moral agents. That science was toying with the forces of nature and would strike a deal with evil is not kept within the bounds of the church.
Today we continue our peculiar relationship to blood. Note the use of terms like "blueblood," "true blood," "blood brothers," "bloody fool," and so forth. Personal identity has often been wrapped up in stories about blood. There is a race and racism often involve blood stories relating to one's ancestral lineage.
In the 1940s American racial segregation made its way to our nation's blood banks. The American Red Cross in November 1941 announced that it would not accept blood from African-American donors for use in the blood banks. The Red Cross did change its tune after several months. It did begin to collect "colored" donors blood for special storage. It did keep the blood segregated. The American Red Cross had no clear scientific evidence to support their decision for blood segregation. They continued superstitions that had been around for ages. Blood we know is not immune to superstitious belief system.
In those days people believe that one's blood carried their race "marker" in these markers would be inherited by the children and grandchildren. This line of reasoning made its way into the military and some soldiers were worried that if given "Negro blood" that their children or grandchildren would look like African-Americans of birth. Science knew better, but as today with global warming and the lack of climate literacy in the American population, people accepted dogma over science.
Finally after years of quibbling about blood, some researchers declared that the best blood as one's own blood. And when one's own blood was not available, led from a sibling and at best and most cases, blood donated by a twin.. Race prejudices would continue for some time in the blood research failed.
Today more than 4 million blood donors donated blood to the Red Cross and without them are blood banks would suffer mightily. There is a great need for blood to help patients survive surgery as well as trauma victims to survive terrible accidents. Every two seconds someone in the United States requires a blood transfusion.
In the blood cleanup business we soon learn that trauma victims was a lot of blood before death. Blood cleanup from homicide, suicide, and unattended deaths also involves other bodily fluids from victims. But we know soon enough that in the blood cleanup field human blood is human blood and there's no way to tell if such a thing is more than one human race exist from what we see in blood during blood cleanup activities.
Roughly every two seconds someone in the United States requires a blood transfusion. These blood transfusions may arise from the need for more blood during surgery, traumatic accidents including vehicles and motorcycles, and industrial accidents which may include amputations.
When we read about the blood science in the 17th century – – it's discoveries in his deadly politics, we must frown as we crawl the 21st century and its deadly politics around the new climate change caused by human beings, the Anthropocene. Regarding race, in the mid-20th century there were concerns about race be transferred during transfusions. We can find racial politics deeply embedded in the blood transfusion industry as well as the margins of medical science.
In fact, with today's anti-science mood in the Republican Party, we must wonder if the intense debates, ignorant as they appear, if they continue to brew over whether or not scientist should be allowed to pursue their climate science as they do, we must wonder if the public response should be so mixed or even hostile. Of course the public confused. Our nation's leaders are confused and they really don't care about science finding facts, truth.
The issue of embryos comes up. Even on embryos slated for destruction and fertility clinic, there is the idea that such destruction constitutes an affront to the dignity and sanctity of human life. Although, we don't see such sentimentality towards the living and fence that are bombed almost daily in Libya these days. Neither do we see concern for infants born in households without medical care or insurance. We see the court cited the 1996 Dickey=Wicker amendment and its decision, which prohibited the use of federal funds for "research in which a human embryo or embryos are destroyed, discarded, or knowingly subjected to risk of injury or death greater than that allowed for in research on fetuses and neutral." This is in essence superstition, but understandable, especially in light of the work in science. People simply do not understand the facts.
The idea of "sentient" or "sentience" comes to mind in the issue of fetal remains in death cleanup as well as blood cleanup. And what point does the embryo become sentient, capable of filling fear, anxiety, or pain?
Sentience is an ability to feel or to perceive. It's a matter of being mature enough or aware enough to experience subjectively. In the 18th century philosophers use this idea to tell the difference between our ability to think from her ability to fail. In these modern days of Western philosophy sent answers the ability to simply fill, experience sensations. So in terms of the embryo and other life forms of that matter, sentiments ought to be the greatest concern when it comes to inflicting pain, anxiety, or death.
Some 350 years ago religion pushed back against blood transfusion as an unholy to control disease and illness. At times it was a matter of just superstition and ignorance; at other times it was a valid response to the horrific attempt to unknowingly transfuse blood between species, sheep to humans, dogs to humans, cattle to dogs, and more. We can understand their reluctance to abide by blood transfusion when it was apparent there was no foundation for these reckless experiments.
Today, it is believed by scientists that projecting values onto the conduct of science is anathema to our principles. The historic success of science is accomplished in a value free environment, but not always. Still, within the ethical limits of conduct, we believe that no scientifically unanswerable questions should be out of bounds. This is a long way from 350 years ago when it was considered blasphemous staff some questions. Too many these days we should question everything under the sun. And a good reason for this radical skepticism. Today we have thousands of nuclear warheads pointing at the earth and more being added every year. The warheads are more powerful than ever and in some cases one nuclear warhead is capable of destroying entire states. This doesn't include the nuclear waste fallout.
So in this case when we talk about blood cleanup were talking about blood cleanup on a massive scale and this far outweighs issues related to using fetal cadaver materials for science research. At least in terms of ethics morality, there is no comparison between the two. Today science is looking for a way to interact with society without offending the morals and ethics of society.
On the flip side of this issue, is the issue of society especially government denying the foundations and facts produced by science, especially in climate science. So 350 years ago blood transfusion was carried out without boundaries. Today scientific hopes and pitched social fears around racial issues are misplaced.
We should ask, "should I society set limits on it science? And if it should set limits, what sort of limits and at what cost?"
By the end of the 1600s both London and Paris were clogged by a Denson city Hayes. Most buildings Fires burning in chimneys and even in the streets to fight off the icy winds. In 1667 the winter was the coldest on record. The price of wood as fuel skyrocketed. Fresh food nearly disappeared from street vendors offerings, daily survival became a terrible struggle for the proletariat.
Paris population pressures increased as it reached 400,000 souls. Death and death cleanup were apparent on city streets and alleys on a daily basis. The stench from rotting corpses was outdone only by human feces, urine, and was only kept up by the modes of work of feces cleanup practitioners. As the unrelenting cold, hunger, and violence and grace, the masses of Parisian citizens on together desperately an attempt to survive. There was little hope. Only the church can provide Solis.
Jean-Baptiste Denis explored the limits of human suffering and scientific arrogance as a lived his daily life of entitlement. While others suffered the biting cold, Denis traveled in the comfort of a chauffeur driven carriage heated by bricks.
In those days tropism flourished as snake oil dealers and charlatans congregated in marketplaces along with switch and bait artists. Street actors congregated alongside shady characters as the ruling class made its way through city streets. Heavily perfumed prostitutes walked along ridges and tempted men of all persuasions.
Denise had proven himself as a rare man as he had proven by breaking through the class barriers of the day. Perpetually driven optimistic, he had pushed his way into the world of wealth and privilege occupied by high society. It had become a doctor. No, not a "doctor" as we would think today, but a man, and they were men, with some rudimentary knowledge of physiology and anatomy but otherwise wholly ignorant of the body structure and functions. They survived on myth and magical thinking among the general population as well the ruling class. If they could sell an idea then her idea became "medicine.".
And this is the world that Denise had joined as a novice. When he began experimenting on blood and blood transfusions, he had received his medical degree from the University of Montpellier . He returned to Paris with the idea of becoming famous. He considered a number of ideas to pursue, a blood transfusion was in the wind so to speak., That precious fluid, how it had so many metaphysical and magical implications. For, wasn't it blood that held the humors, those for radiating powers that brought health and illness to the body?
The bourgeoisie, Denise made it a point to ignore beggars when he traveled regardless how hard they pounded on the doors miscarriage. For them, the next handout might make the difference between another day of life and death.
Denise would find his fame by fully documenting human blood transfusion, a xenotransfusion. He would become personal physician to King Louis XIV. No he did not achieve his goal of successfully curing disease with blood transfusions. But he did learn a thing or two. He administered the first fully documented human blood transfusion on June 15, 1667. From the shape, he transferred 12 ounces of the sheep's blood into a 15-year-old boy. The boy had been bled with leeches at least 20 times.
The boy managed to survive the transfusion, but before long it would become evident that this sort of xenotransfusion should not continue. On another occasion he performed a transfusion on a labor would also survive. But both times it was likely due to a small amount of blood that was transferred in the transfusion. So they had allergic action which they could easily of suffered, but not great enough to cause death. His third patient to undergo transfusion was a Swedish baron by the name of Gustaf Bonde. He received two revisions and later died after the second.
Then in the winter is 1667 Denny's used calf's blood on a transfusion to one Antoine Maurcy, a mentally ill man. On the third transfusion the man died, although he did appear to recover from illnesses and his mental health issue before dying. This transfusion led to a lot of controversy in the life of the victim out the young doctor responsible for her husband's death.
Denys was charge for murder and acquitted soon after. The wife then became the object of scrutiny and was accused of causing her husband's death. Anyway, after the trial, and Deny's quit medicine. He did not take his failures lightly, which goes to the issue of suffering the consequences of performing medicine without not knowing consequences. I 1670 transfusions were manned until 1902 when Karl Landsteiner's discovery of the floor blood groups brought transfusion back to life for safe and reliable outcomes.
For certain the young Denise had competitors across the channel. Among the English a number of English doctors and natural philosophers (scientists) tried to make sense of blood mysteries. Their results have been stunning. 1628 the Englishman William Harvey made a discovery that rocked medical science. He laid the foundation medical models to come. He had usurped the previous medical models going back 2000 years. He argued that blood circulated through the body. This set off a flurry of experiments by the researchers Christopher Wren, Richard Lower, and Robert Hooke. They experimented and took matters one step closer to human transfusions. By the 17th-century research on human beings was well underway and a race arose to perfect blood transfusions. Still rare, but on the minds of many experimenters,Blood cleanup and research was frequently more involved in the domain of death. In those days human dissections and University anatomical theaters as well as private homes often took place in European scientific and social life. The natural philosophers had dissected newly defunct college, there scalpels and solves were most often put the work on executed criminals. Pope Sextus IV in 1482 sanctioned dissection of deceased criminals. Then 50 years later in 1537 it was Pope Clement VII formally okayed anatomical demonstrations. Now medical schools had brought this practice into their written curricula. Hangings were public in those days and in the morning church bells would ring out to alert Londoners that someone had hung. Corpse brokers with lingering around as condemned swung piteously in the air as their heart stopped beating in the blood rushed to their feet. The brokers formed a legal vulture like wielders and dealers as they competed for access to the fresh bodies. They use these as commodities and received a good price in London for their wares. Medical practitioners and medical schools paid handsomely for these newly minted human specimens.
It was William Harvey who would seek these bodies for his research and change our understanding of the circulation of human blood. In fact we had no idea the blood circulated before our, at least it wasn't documented for our purposes. Harvey had been convinced of the value of dissection and hardly a day would pass when he didn't take part human body or an animal has increased as improved on his knowledge of anatomy and physiology. It was a rare day when one did not find half a cadaver in various modes of destruction on large wooden tables in his home. The stench was powerful, but the Harvey the stench was practically nonexistent since he lived in it from morning to late night. On occasion he would give demonstrations to show what he had learned in the power of the creator's imagination. He performed postmortems on his father, sister, and even a close friend. He was not one to mix science with sentimentality.
It was time to shrug off tradition he argued. The scholasticism the wise ancient writers, there theories and medical practices have bound mankind to pain, agony, and certain death for far too long. Such theories were uninformed and not led by observation in hypothesis. They knew nothing of the human body. Hippocrates, Galen, and Aristotle had made observations of monkeys, pigs, and other animals while never fully grasping the importance of experimenting. For Harvey, experiment men rolling up one's sleeves and getting bloody hands diving into the flesh of the human body. Harvey had come to the point where he would put 2000 years of Ganenic knowledge to rest. Since the second century it had been believe that blood do not circulate. It made a one-way trip from the stomach to the heart. Venous blood, according to Galen, was the product of food that had been "cooked" while at resided in the digestive tract. And then it would become filtered by the liver. Then from the liver it made its way to the heart. There it seeped through the hearts chambers into invisible porous membranes. The body seat arose from the heart's actions would serve to burn blood like kindling in the furnace. We would not question Galen's mindset because the fireplace, the furnace remained a stable in the lives of most people. Human respiration as well as respiration in general is a matter of blowing off "smoke" which was the fumes generated by the hearts furnace.
So as simple as this idea seems today and silly to most, and help to explain the early bloodletting mania that drove many people to death in the hands of their physicians. A fever was considered a certain sign that too much blood was in the system may have been choking the furnace. Like a bonfire, furnace could also go out of control. Bloodletting had become unquestioned in the Middle Ages and went on for centuries and became the "care" for almost every type of human illness and disease.
So phlebotomy came to clear the mind and memory while it cleaned out the stomach. It served the brain well warming the eyes to stop tears. A whole catalog carers came to arise from bloodletting, at least in the minds of the Galenic practitioners and scholastic scholars. We would find there was no rhyme or reason to this magical thinking other than the daily experience generalized onto the human body and its workings.
The idea of the "humors" lay at the heart of the early modern periods profound belief in bloodletting. Galenism told humankind that the body was ruled by four different bodily fluids known as the "humors" and each carried specific properties. Now, if these seemingly archetypal type human conditions seem so while, keep in mind that in Asian countries they had and Yang archetypes had served to indicate the causes of illness and disease.
But in Western societies, the blood, phlegm, choleer (yellow bile), and melancholy (black bile) were believed to mix in certain proportions. These proportions, like the Earth's temperature relative to its carbon dioxide parts per million (ppm), would cause an imbalance in the body. Each individual had a specific balance in some cases. These humoral balances were called the "complexion."
Good health was the result of a perfectly balanced complexion. So getting the bodies humors back in balance by purging, by using laxatives, and by removing blood from the body tears were available when used by a trained physician.
In those days in those days medical practitioners were also known as Barber-surgeons. One need only walk down the street to find one easily enough because the bloody pan could easily be found sitting outside the practitioners door. On occasion bloody rags would litter the area indicating that the barber-surgeon had been at work. Today's red and white marbles signify the historical lineage found in onetime barbershops.
We should place this peer to history in the context of an emerging science from the practitioners of magic in some cases. Astronomy and astrology were at times not distinctly separate. The two were not easily discerned before the early 18th century. Astrological charts of times indicated periods for bleeding patients from the position of stars on the charts.
These "bleeding charts" indicated the area of the body govern by particular stars. The phases of the moon and the dates of projected eclipses were also used as typical drawings of astrologically based bleeding points. And if this type of magical thinking is not enough for the reader, consider that the heart was connected to Leo the lion; the feet, to Pisces, and the gut, to Libra. And most likely, when the medical practitioner was about his magical chart, you simply made it up as he went along. People paid for the services.
Let us not forget the blood cleanup was taking part during these bloodletting sessions. No thought was given to hygiene practices as far as clubs and mass. Recall illnesses were not a matter of germs because the theory of germs and disease remain for the 1880s. No common these days human blood was another fluid. The humors were the source of disease then, so blood cleanup practitioners we have to wait for several centuries before entering the field of biohazard cleanup.
Thankfully, bloodletting would fall out of favor during the 19 century as the work of Louis Pasteur and Joseph Lister brought humankind to understand that disease was caused by germs, not humors. These theories were accompanied by renewed emphasis on evidence-based research and facts. Before, though, in 1835 the French Dr. PA or Charles Alexandre instigated epidemiology as a form of medical practice. He had interviewed at least 2000 patients in the Paris hospital La Pitie. He recorded autopsies. Interviewed patients to learn about their illness. He would follow their diseases and how their diseases progressed. He noted the treatments offered for these diseases.
Use data to assess bloodletting as a practice. He did not entirely condemn bloodletting, though he did conclude that this type of medical practice was far overblown. Before long bloodletting was known to medical history as an odd artifact of medicine that led to the pain and suffering the many millions of people.
It would take decades before this form of data accumulation and assessment would become more routine. We would find the French monk Emile Durkheim studies and to suicide and accumulation of data for statistical analysis arise toward the end of the 1900s as well. Science was in the wind than. Galenic humoralism and bloodletting were on the way out but as today, it still took a long time for people to change the way they thought.
Now William Harvey remained skeptical of anatomical examination of endeavors because as good as they were, they were dead. He knew the only way he could explore his hypothesis on the the valves permitting the flow of blood and inhibiting its flow, would be to experiment on a living human being. So Harvey needed to see blood in motion to trace its flow through the body. He needed to fill the pulsating hearts of his subjects. So at this point in history, a sad part of history, vivisection of living animals became a practice. So many feral animals made their way through the streets of London that Harvey could easily coax them into his laboratory with a handful of food.
With this new bounty of surgical subjects he tried to quickly catch the heart and blood in motion. The animals grain in agony and twist and turn as a finally succumbed to a painful death. Later animal-rights people would scream "bloody murder" in reaction to these terrible practices. The medical practitioners into the nature blood would argue that these animals were merely "machines" written by instinct and not conscious in the way that human beings are conscious of itself.
Today we hear similar arguments used to describe the condition of the fetus, but there is a difference between the two, the fetus and the screaming agony of a sentient animal. Before long Harvey learn that eels, snakes, and squid were more cooperative. "Thank goodness for this" we might think.
Now the beating hearts would give Harvey a chance to plot contracting and relaxing veins and valves is the heartbeat. That is stall I can systolic motion actions became a parent as the heart reddened just a little bit with each blood movement. The value in using cold-blooded subjects for blood research cannot be understated. Because of their cold-blooded condition there beating hearts pump less rapidly than the megamillion species.
Combining his vivisection knowledge with his dissection knowledge Harvey could quantify for the first time in all history how blood moved to the body. He could easily empty the blood from a chamber of dissected human heart and tell out collected about 2 ounces of blood. He could estimate the total fluid that the heart pushed in and out during each beat. By multiplying the number of heartbeats per every half hour, he could tell that almost 540 pounds of blood would be produced. Using the Galenic model of the body, these 540 pounds a blood would burn off in the galenic furnace, the heart.
Harvey could tell that the blood did not stop at the heart for a one-way trip. It was recycled. The body of the heart allowed for valves to open and close. He could do is research and then wipe his hands free of blood, at least as free as blood cleanup would allow in those days. He would set at his candlelit table and draw sketches of his findings and make notations for himself and others to follow in the future.