What is Phlebotomy?
To collect a sample of blood for examination and diagnosis, phlebotomy is the act of drawing or extracting blood from the circulatory system by a cut (incision) or puncture. Moreover, phlebotomy is performed as a component of a patient’s treatment for specific blood problems.
History of Phlebotomy and Origin:
Phlebotomy, also known as bloodletting, has been practiced for centuries and has its roots in Greece and Rome. It was used for both curative and preventative treatments. At the time, these practices were not regulated or understood as well as they are now. Bloodletting was thought to be a way to restore the body’s fluid balance, as any illness was thought to be caused by an imbalance. As a result, it frequently resulted in poor clinical outcomes.
Galen of Pergamon, a prominent Greek physician, discovered that arteries and veins contained blood in Greece. Previously, it was believed that arteries contained air. At the time, it was widely held that blood did not circulate throughout the body. Instead, they thought it was stuck at the edges. The patient was given an emetic to induce vomiting during this time of treatment.
Galen of Pergamon devised a complicated method for determining how much blood should be removed from which parts of the body with its quantities. Interestingly, he believed the “diseased blood” should be drained as close to the diseased area of the body as possible.
It was believed that the disease left the body through the blood. So, bloodletting became quite widespread throughout Europe over time. All it did was spread the disease to others. Before the turn of the nineteenth century, it was simply believed that blood was the source of many of the illnesses and diseases. To “rid” people of their disease, leeches were frequently applied to their skin.
Excessive Blood loss cause of death:
Naturally, excessive blood loss can result in permanent harm or even death. This was the case for many patients during traditional bloodletting procedures. The case of George Washington in the United States was one interesting one. In the United States, bloodletting was common, particularly among Pilgrims. George Washington’s death is said to have been caused by too much bleeding.
The doctor drained more than eight pints of blood to treat the infection, which was initially thought to be a throat infection. He passed away shortly thereafter because his body couldn’t handle the loss. Given that the body contains approximately ten pints of blood, this is not surprising. This is one of the most well-known examples of bloodletting gone wrong.
Modern Day’s Phlebotomy
Phlebotomy has developed into a crucial diagnostic and therapeutic method over time. Today’s scene of bloodletting is quite different. It is not used to simply remove blood from the body; rather, it is used to obtain a blood sample from a patient on the direct instruction of a physician for diagnostic purposes. Thankfully, when performed by a certified phlebotomist using sterile tools in a healthcare setting, the procedure of taking a blood sample is now safe, quick and painless.