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Author Notes:

Correspondence: Harold C. Sullivan or Howard M. Gebel, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Emory University Hospital, 1364 Clifton Road, Atlanta, Georgia 30322, USA., hgebel@emory.edu, hcsulli@emory.edu

Disclosures: Both authors declared no competing interests.


Research Funding:

None declared


  • Science & Technology
  • Life Sciences & Biomedicine
  • Urology & Nephrology
  • History

Hurts So Good: Uncovering the Relationship Between Blood Transfusions and Allograft Outcome


Journal Title:

Kidney International Reports


Volume 6, Number 4


, Pages 875-877

Type of Work:

Article | Final Publisher PDF


The concept that blood has curative qualities dates back to ancient times. The poet Ovid (43 BC–17/18 AD) wrote of the rejuvenation of Aeson by “letting out the old blood” and replacing it with a restorative tincture.1 Accounts of Roman spectators hoping to gain the strength of slain gladiators by drinking their blood are well detailed by the philosopher Pliny the Elder. But it was not until 1829 that James Blundell, the father of modern blood transfusion, published the first successful case of human-to-human blood transfusion, saving the life of a young woman experiencing postpartum hemorrhage by transfusion of 8 ounces of blood (∼240 ml).2 However, many of Blundell’s other patients did not survive transfusion, presumably due to ABO incompatibility and the resulting hemolysis. Recognizing both the benefits and detriments of transfusion, Blundell cautioned that transfusions be limited only to the severely ill.

Copyright information:

© 2021 Published by Elsevier, Inc., on behalf of the International Society of Nephrology.

This is an Open Access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/rdf).
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