A Look at The Historical Growth of IV Therapy

Scientists began studying the movement of blood in the body in the 16th century and began experimenting with the concept of adding blood or fluids directly to the patient's blood.

Those early blood transfusions and infusions included reusable fins and animal bladders and other basic tools (at least for us now).

However, poor patient outcomes (high mortality) and negative societal views have reduced the popularity of IV therapy, and thus, the use of doctor-prescribed drug cones and bloodletting has seen additional increases.

Then it took several centuries and a massive cholera epidemic to stimulate further research into IV therapy. During the great international cholera epidemic, the first major successes with salt were recorded.

However, it was not until 1901 and 1907 that IV therapy was successful. These data are consistent with the findings of the 4 major blood groups of Karl Landsteiner and Jan Janski.

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These results helped reduce deaths from previous transfusions and significantly improved patient outcomes. It was the two devastating world wars that contributed to stimulating the international use of IV therapy.

In 1918, Oswald Robertson, a medic in the Canadian Army, successfully transfected the blood of 22 patients from World War I. Similar positive success stories to Robertson's have resulted in patients with shock or severe burns receiving broad military medical approval for transfusions.