Blood has been pumping through humanity’s veins since the beginning, but our understanding of it has never been as good as it is today. Different techniques and technologies surrounding blood have been used over the millennia, ranging from bloodletting to more modern techniques.

Despite not knowing all about it, we have always known just how important it is to our survival. If we get cut we bleed and if we bleed too much we die. Today we know a lot more about blood, and in this article, we will look at the history of blood and blood tests.

The Early Years – Bloodletting

One of the earliest medical treatments involving blood was bloodletting. They identified blood as one of the four humours, along with phlegm, black bile and yellow bile. Nowadays it is an outdated notion, but the humoral theory of medicine associated each humour with a particular element and season, and that a good balance was essential.

Leeches were a popular method of bloodletting, applied to the skin and able to suck out several times its body weight in blood. They were most popular in the 1800s and then declined in popularity. However, they are still used today occasionally, as an enzyme in their saliva can help prevent clotting.

Blood Types – A Key Development

In 1901, Karl Landsteiner and his colleagues discovered that there were different blood types in the human body. He did so by mixing blood from donors with animal blood and discovered different results. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1930 for his work, which revolutionised the medical world. After this, blood transfusions became a viable medical treatment.

Disease & Blood Testing

Disease testing became a popular field of study between the 1930s and 40s. During this time it was discovered you could identify diseases through blood testing. This started very basically, with only a few diseases able to be tested – but nowadays you can check for a great number of diseases using only a small vial of blood.

Technology has become so much more advanced that blood tests can be carried out with only a finger prick of blood! Nowadays blood tests are not the only thing done with blood, normally coupled with tests for glucose and cholesterol into a single blood panel.

While still in development, there are a number of alternatives to blood tests that could make the process more efficient such as saliva testing.

Blood Panels From Duality Health – Trusted Private Health Care

Here at Duality Health, we offer health consultations to our clients, which can include blood panels. We have a variety of blood panel options available, so by working with us we can help you identify which one would be ideal for you so you can get the results you need.

Find out more about what services we can offer you by calling either 028 252 56093 (Galgorm) or 028 308 33666 (Newry).