WWI Blood transfusion

The recognition of the four human blood groups was determined by Jansky in 1907. ┬áHe classified his groups as I, II, III, and IV but we now recognize these groups according to the ABO classification. In 1907, Jansky’s Group I corresponded to present day group O; Group II corresponded to present day group A; Group III corresponded to present day group B; and Group IV corresponded to present day group AB. Prior to the discovery of sodium citrate to prevent blood from clotting in 1914, the use of blood transfusion was only through paraffin coated tubing and bottles, with considerable risk of the transfusion failing due to the coagulation of the blood. The first transfusion of citrated blood was performed by Professor L. Agote of Buenos Aires on November 14th 1914 but despite this, transfusion of blood was considered to be too difficult and unsuited for the stress of war conditions until 1917 when the Royal Army Medical Corps was reinforced by doctors from the United States and the knowledge that blood could be safely transfused spread throughout the Armies.

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