In 1667, member of the English Royal Society and the French Academy of Sciences were caught by surprise when a young, upstart French physician named Jean-Baptiste Denis performed the first animal-to-human transfusion. Draw your swords and drain out his old blood, so that I may fill his veins with young blood.". that of three 10-year-old boys who. Shortly before his death, Innocent VIII asked his cardinals to choose a better successor than himself. In 1492, the same year that Columbus set sail, a Jewish doctor in Italy tried transfusing blood from three young boys into ailing Pope Innocent VIII. 66) throws a somewhat different light on the same incidents: "On the evening of July 25, 1492, the good-natured and incompetent Pope Innocent VIII passed away. Medical history is full of horror stories, but few could give rise to a horror movie. The transfusionist then tried the lamb-blood procedure on a robust butcher—likely the same butcher who provided him with the sheep for the first experiment. With a personal account, you can read up to 100 articles each month for free. And the quickest way to remedy was the imbalance was through bloodletting. When Pope Innocent VIII was on his deathbed in 1492, his doctors bled three young boys, killing them, and had the pontiff drink their blood to restore his health. Considerable progress has been made since then, particularly following Karl Landsteiner’s discovery of the ABO blood … JSTOR®, the JSTOR logo, JPASS®, Artstor®, Reveal Digital™ and ITHAKA® are registered trademarks of ITHAKA. Mimicking Medea’s brutal and precise cuts, the daughters deftly slice open Pelias’s veins and drain them dry. But in the earliest battles for blood’s dominance, one thing is nonetheless certain…Medea would have been proud. Unfortunately, the three boys and the pope all ended up dying in the middle of the procedure. When illness struck, it was a sign that the humors were out of balance. Medieval The first recorded attempt of a blood transfusion was described by the 15th-century chronicler Stefano Infessura. Plunging her knife into the animal, she bleeds it nearly dry and then casts the limp sheep into a bubbling cauldron. The boy survived. 1902 Von Decastello and Sturli – discovered the fourth ABO blood … The first recorded attempt of a blood transfusion was described by the 15th-century chronicler Stefano Infessura. Its feeble bleating is soon replaced by the frolicking leaps of a young lamb. And by the 1660s, both the Royal Society and the French Academy of Sciences began performing canine-to-canine transfusion trials with varying levels of success. But Harvey’s theory of circulation  (and it was initially just that, a theory) paved the way for natural philosophers to begin imagining the possibility of putting things into veins and arteries for the first time. The very idea was frightening to some. This is likely true. All Rights Reserved. Started in 1946, the Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences is internationally recognized as one of the top publications in its field. In 1492, as Pope Innocent VIII lapsed into a coma, the blood of three boys was infused—into his mouth! In this marvelous spectacle, Medea has demonstrated her ability to transfuse life to the dead and dying. Centuries later, Marsilio Ficino (1433-1499) similarly promoted drinking young blood as a means for the elderly to regain their youthful vigor. Soon, the madman Mauroy was dead—and Denis was accused of murder. One of many earliest makes an attempt at blood transfusion was chronicled in 1492 when Pope Innocent VIII, though in Benefits of Autologous Blood Donation When Having Surgery - uscgf-kmi.com No Result Medea flees the scene, smug in the success of her deception. Ignorance of antisepsis, asepsis, and immunology—all 19th century discoveries—would have resulted in countless disasters." Check out using a credit card or bank account with. Villari, some When possible and appropriate, it focuses on what practitioners of the healing arts did or taught, and how their peers, as well as patients, received and interpreted their efforts. The first blood transfusion from one human to another is reported to date from 1492, for Pope Innocent VIII. Some days previously, as the story. option. Natural philosophers and physicians were not only eager to explore the possibilities of transfusion; their blood experiments were at the forefront of what was, anachronistically speaking, something of a cold war for scientific dominance in late 17th century Europe. Medea, the sensual and ravishing sorceress of Greek mythology, enters the royal chambers. Both animal and human bodies were little more than machines. Blood transfusion is itself infused with brutality and legendry. referred to, be it only incidentally, as in a recent paper of Maluf.1. By some accounts, the first transfusion was performed on Pope Innocent VIII in 1492; some claimed that he was transfused with or—at the very least—had drunk the blood of Jewish boys. blood, rather than to its infusion, it is in fact difficult to determine when the first authentic attempt at transfusion was actually performed. C. Early Blood Transfusion YEAR NAME (S) HIGHLIGHTS/CONTRIBUTIONS 1492 Pope Innocent VII/VIII First recipient of blood transfusion from 3 young boy donors. The outcome indicates why transfusion attempts were rare and dangerous: all three boys died. © 2021 Scientific American, a Division of Nature America, Inc. Support our award-winning coverage of advances in science & technology. Pope Innocent VIII (Latin: Innocentius VIII; 1432 – 25 July 1492), born Giovanni Battista Cybo (or Cibo), was head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 29 August 1484 to his death. Men like Christopher Wren, Thomas Willis, and Robert Boyle soon began injecting dogs with a variety of fluids—water, milk, beer, wine, opium—in order to test Harvey’s claims. The very men who plotted to kill Mauroy and to frame Denis were highly influential members of the Faculty of Medicine. All three donors died of hemorrhaging, while the thrice punctured pontiff barely outlived them." For some, there was little to be worried about when it came to blood transfusion. The first blood transfusion from one human to another is reported to date from 1492, for Pope Innocent VIII. While skeptical historians rightly doubt that there is much truth behind this politicized papal story, what is certain is that where power and conflict are, blood stories are never far behind. Pope Innocent VIII has often. Request Permissions. It is related that, during his last illness, the operation for transfusion of blood was unsuccessfully performed. ... Pope’ s blood was exchang ed with. For terms and use, please refer to our Terms and Conditions Slowly, the women approach their father, who looks up at them with trusting eyes. For the Ancient Greeks, blood was a magical elixir. The philosopher René Descartes (“I think therefore I am”) had made the convincing argument of mind-body dualism. Take a look at the complete line-up of bloggers at our brand new blog network. To access this article, please, Access everything in the JPASS collection, Download up to 10 article PDFs to save and keep, Download up to 120 article PDFs to save and keep. Pliny the Elder (AD 23-79), one of the great historians of the Roman Empire, described the mad rush of spectators into arenas to drink the blood of fallen gladiators. In so doing, the Court placed a de facto ban on the procedure. Blood transfusion is itself infused with brutality and legendry. Pope Innocent VIII (1432-25 July 1492), born Giovanni Battista Cybo, was Pope from 29 August 1484 to 25 July 1492, succeeding Pope Sixtus IV and preceding Pope Alexander VI.. Perhaps the earliest recorded case of blood transfusion was that of Pope Innocent VIII (1432-1492). Son of the viceroy of Naples, Battista spent his early years at the Neapolitan court. In response to these controversies, the Court ruled that no further transfusions could take place without the express approval of the Paris Faculty of Medicine. from Wikipedia: The unsympathetic Roman chronicler Stefano Infessura provides many lively details, among them the apparent attempt to revive Innocent VIII on his deathbed by blood transfusions … Or dogs become philosophers? Identify and prioritize the different risks associated with blood transfusion. The only thing that differentiated humans from animals was that they had the ability to speak, think, and reason. Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. Transfusion research was over, and it would not re-emerge for another 150 years. He was prescribed with one solution blood transfusion. Scientific American is part of Springer Nature, which owns or has commercial relations with thousands of scientific publications (many of them can be found at, Taking Charge of Your Life and Your Death, Nature's Nuclear Reactors: The 2-Billion-Year-Old Natural Fission Reactors in Gabon, Western Africa. The German physician Andreas Libavius speculated in the late sixteenth century that it could indeed be possible to transfer the blood of a healthy person into a sick one "to bring him the fountain of life and drive away all languor." But what if Descartes was wrong? Maluf once wrote, "it is probably fortunate that blood transfusion took a nap for over one and a half centuries. Menstrual Blood women tend to become forgetful and lunatic. Medea turns impatiently to the king’s daughters, who hover in a trance, drugged by the witch’s herbs and humbled by her otherworldly powers. Rivers of blood run throughout human history—its wars, its violence, its science. Considerable progress has been made since then, particularly following Karl Landsteiner’s discovery of the ABO blood group antigens in 1901. De Cor-menin13 wrote that it was a "frightful beverage, and given in the year 1492." William Harvey’s discovery of blood circulation in 1628 shifted in dramatic ways how blood was understood. Would humans now begin to bark? JSTOR is part of ITHAKA, a not-for-profit organization helping the academic community use digital technologies to preserve the scholarly record and to advance research and teaching in sustainable ways. About the Author: Holly Tucker (blog, Twitter) is author of Blood Work: A Tale of Medicine and Murder in the Scientific Revolution (W.W. Norton). The Pope died on 25 July 1492. Son of the viceroy of Naples, Battista spent his early years at the Neapolitan court. Medea is but one ancestor to an infamous cast of characters—some fictional, some real, all chilling and terrifying—who remind us of blood’s inextricable connections to life, love, revenge, and, above all, competition and power. A few hours later he became Pope Innocent VIII. The protracted conflict with Naples was the principal obstacle to a crusade against the Turks; Innocent VIII earnestly endeavoured to unite Christendom against the common enemy. G. A. LINDEBOOM; The Story of a Blood Transfusion to a Pope, Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences, Volume IX, Issue 4, 1 October 1954, Pages Identify and prioritize the different risks associated with blood transfusion. Before his death, Innocent had to gulp down strange blood in an attempt to … A recipient of this tonic was Pope Innocent VIII who in 1492 was given a draught of blood from three youths for strength and rejuvenation." In 1492, as Pope Innocent VIII lapsed into a coma, the blood of three boys was infused—into his mouth! Doctors came to believe that they could blood into the veins via the same route that food took to get into the body. To the consternation of all, Denis transfused a feverish young boy with the blood of a lamb. Galen believes that drinking of blood from dogs prevent rabies. Yet he closed his treatise (Appendix necessaria syntagmatis arcanorum chymicorum) with the firm conclusion that only a charlatan would be foolish enough to meddle in such unseemly experimentation. The blood transfusion given to Pope Innocent VIII is often. The journal's coverage is broad, publishing the latest original research on the written beginnings of medicine in all its aspects. Then, like ravenous beasts, they pounce. He only needed, he said, the blood of three healthy young men—Christians presumably. According to unconfirmed testimony, in the fifteenth century, medicine was prepared from the blood of three boys to save the life of Pope Innocent VIII. Read your article online and download the PDF from your email or your account. Unfortunately, the three boys succumbed as did the Pope, followed by the rapid departure of the attending physician, Giacomo di San Genesio. Transfusion Medicine Reviews Volume 5, Issue 3 , July 1991, Pages 228-235 History of the First Blood Transfusion but a Fable Agreed Upon: The Transfusion of Blood to a Pope Since Antiquity, medical practitioners had subscribed to the idea that health and ill-health were a direct reflection of the fluids, or "humors," in the body. OUP is the world's largest university press with the widest global presence. Little or nothing was known at that time about blood types (ABO), HLA or disease transmission. As the historian N.S.R. Giovanni Battista Cybo was born in Genoa, Republic of Genoa in 1432 to a family of Greek ancestry, and he went to Padua and Rome for his education. (2) It required English physician William Harvey’s discovery of how blood circulates continuously throughout the body – announced in 1616 and published in 1628 – to make blood transfusion a serious prospect. It furthers the University's objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide. Discover world-changing science. Transfusion, some feared, gave science a means to engineer new animal-human hybrids. His discovery did not abolish the notion of humors, which would continue well into the 19th century. What if the soul resided in the body? ... A Jewish doctor offered to attempt a blood transfusion to save his life; which shows how far above petty vindictiveness devotion to science will raise a man. Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences, Read Online (Free) relies on page scans, which are not currently available to screen readers. Emboldened, Denis plucked a mentally-ill man off the streets of Paris and performed a series of blood transfusions. Knife in hand, she commands the servants to bring her an old sheep. It was later reported that three 10-year-old boys having their blood removed and given to the Pope in an attempt to cure him resulting in the death of all. Select the purchase ©2000-2021 ITHAKA. Long before Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Anne Rice’s Vampire Lestat, or television’s True Blood, acts of blood lust spiraled in stories told and retold. Source: Lapham’s Quarterly Worse, what if the soul lived in the blood itself? The Pope was transfused in April 1492 with the blood of three young boys. 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