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Lane-type infusion apparatus, London, England, 1902-1940

Invented by surgeon William Arbuthnot Lane (1856-1943) in 1891, this apparatus was intended to be used for blood transfusions. This procedure is carried out on patients who have lost a large amount of blood because of injuries or during surgery. However, it remained a highly risky ‘last resort’ treatment until the discovery of blood groups in 1901 began to make the process safer.

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    Glossary: infusion apparatus

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    Glossary: blood transfusion

    An injection of healthy, donated blood into a patient to raise his or her number of red blood cells. The blood is matched according to type (A, B, O, AB).