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Blood Cleanup Narratives

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Page Menu: George Washington - Blood Transfusions - Aids - Thinking About Blood - Symbolism - bottom

It's hard to imagine how far humanities work with blood as come. For example, we know that George Washington's doctors perform bloodletting to is a sore throat, which probably led to his death. Because the doctors did not get the results they wanted after one, two, and then three bloodletting's, they performed a fourth. Our first president then died, possibly a homicide victim.

George Washington

George Washington on , December 14, 1799, goes down in history as a date medical science notes carefully. The United States lost its first president to what would be called malpractice these days.

Estimates of George Washington's blood loss reaches 18 ounces of his blood. After his second bloodletting his breathing became erratic and he showed signs of great difficulty with each inhalation. Hence the third bloodletting occurred and then fourth and then his death.

Blood Transfusions

In Paris France over 200 years later we find that humanity had progressed to blood transfusions, and with blood transfusions cane all sorts of unforeseen problems. One, in the business of blood collection, sales, and blood transfusion, the AIDS epidemic brought with it new unknowns. Naturally enough blood cleanup became a concern and so followed blood's designation as a biohazard by the Center for Disease Control

AIDS

French blood products for transfusion to an affiliate tax have been contaminated by the AIDS virus. As a result those recipients of tainted blood went to court and sought monetary damages for malpractice from the blood suppliers industry. At work we find a mixture of paternalism, economics, and the limits to science.

Now, in 1992 come ideas about treason, medicine, business, and technological alternatives for George Washington's doctors could never have dreamt. The Industrial Revolution have brought with it scientific management of blood for the transfusion of human blood into patients requiring blood work. Finally a lethal virus found its way into commodified human blood.

Some people will say that cynicism and expediency for making a quick profit led to the contamination of the world's blood supply by the now growing HIV threat and possibly to-quick-to-profit blood suppliers. Perhaps, but the truth must contain at least a germ of doubt because science moves incrementally, and blood science has its moments of brilliance as well as moments of doubt.

In Japan some patients charge their government had criminally concealed contamination of blood products. Contamination spread so quickly in Canada that the government held hearings.

Thinking About Blood

Seldom do we think about blood until we cut one or more of our fingers accidentally, or worse. Sometimes we must undergo surgery and there's a moment in our lives where we must choose between storing, hoarding, our own blood or going to the market for the blood of others. In Los Angeles County this means a blood market which has filtered out the blood of HIV patients, drug users, and in some cases, and diabetics (although they know not that they were diabetic at the time and giving blood).

No other medical commodity comes as close to blood for its importance to the general population worldwide. Routinely we use whole blood transfusions for wounded soldiers fighting in our nation's wars. Emergency rooms throughout Los Angeles County maintain vast stores of whole blood to meet emergency needs and traumatic events involving thousands. The reason for this becomes clear when Los Angeles gangs shoot at one another.

Nonetheless, there's never enough because the blood supply must suffer some decomposition with time and eventually become a plasma fluid; in doing so at least save some of the precious commodities value.

We understand blood much better today than we did during the time of George Washington. Today we know that blood is easily contaminated, and we suppose the blood was understood to be a contaminated substance during the time of George Washington, otherwise how could the physicians have justified bloodletting?

Symbolism

What has mythic and moral symbolism attached to since ancient times. Some people consider blood a natural resource and possibly the world's most precious liquid. It sells for more than $20,000 in its most form.

When prepared, one must spin through centrifuge words divided into layers that include red blood cells on the bottom, and intermediary layer of platelets and white cells, and an opportunity-colored literal plasma on the top. Therapeutic products come from each layer and the red blood cells are transfused directly, while white blood cells and platelets continues to restore resistance to diseases. Clotting factors for affiliate patients included in plasma transfusions. Even antibodies for vaccine production are included in transfusions. We see quickly how this one commodity can carry many sources of medical value to patients and the industry's bottom line. Imagine that it 42 gallon barrel oil can cost $100 while the same amount of blood when fully process can cost more than 67,000. A natural resource.

Ensure about $60 million of blood are collected and processed..2 quantity of about 32 Olympic size swimming pools. This $18.5 billion per year industry does have its own national side. Blood platelets, red cells, are perishable and as a result usually stay within national borders for safekeeping. But other parts of the blood like plasma make their way worldwide. United States is known as a pack of plasma because of its liberal ways of dealing with this commodity.

With blood's transfusion into wounded solders it became a natural resource. Unlike oil we fought no wars over blood although blood is played a big part in war. For example, during the D-Day invasion greatest anxiety for the medical Corps was whether or not enough blood have been stored for the wounded.

Blood work require special handling because contamination of blood can lead to the illness and deaths of thousands of not tens of thousands of people in a very short time. Just as bad as not worse, the spreading of the leg like disease can occur when blood is not carefully taken care of.

Unlike oil and its relatively recent appearance in human history as a result of the Industrial Revolution and internal combustion engines, what has many social and cultural meanings as well as taboos attached to. Even the Bible has more than 4000 comments on blood. Leviticus equates blood with life itself. In the Old Testament is considered a holy sacrament forbids its consumption while Jehovah's Witnesses interpret the Bible literally meaning that they refuse blood transfusions.

The human spirit flowed through blood according to the Egyptians and one day and it restored their vital human spirit. Roman gladiators were said to have drank the blood of fallen opponents.

Well before what we might call the homicide of George Washington, from the medieval days to the Victorian era blood draining for to cure evil humors as well as curing the mentally deranged. In the beginning blood transfusions were then used to cure insanity.

Of course the blood of Jesus Christ is known as the holiest of sacraments and every Sunday and a faithful visit their church to share in the symbolic recapturing of the Holy Spirit.
On the flip side of history find that the Nazis transfused non-Aryan blood according to what they conceived as Ludwig later traits of different races. But we do not find an end to blood in the race prejudice and blood transfusions with the fall of Nazi Germany. Americans fought a racist, and it kept separate stocks of blood for black and white donors for fearing of offending white soldier sensibilities.

Blood experiments began in the age of Enlightenment and continued until now, to the genetic labs running full time today. We know from their work that no such thing as a race gene and little alone a gene discerning one group's blood from another, but for a couple instances of immunities. I short, there's certainly no race related blood products exist in the universe. Nature's never so simple.

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