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HannaHeyes

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PostSubject: Another Medical Question   Sun Jun 17, 2012 3:54 pm

Does anyone know how massive blood loss would have been treated in the 1880s, or if it could be treated at all?

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BeeJay
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PostSubject: Re: Another Medical Question   Sun Jun 17, 2012 7:19 pm

Sew up the patient and watch to see if he dies or lives.

Yes, there is a history of attempting blood transfusions that dates back to the 1600s-usually experimenting on dogs(and there is a record of an attempt made on a human being-but not to replace lost blood-rather as an attempt to cure madness). The French toyed with sheep to human transfusions-and rapidly outlawed them.

One amazing doctor performed a successful blood transfusion in 1818 on blood loss from childbirth. The same doctor performed 10 transfusions-5 of 10 worked-he must have been lucky as well as skilled, as you couldn't match blood types in those days. I doubt that any of these cases involved massive losses of blood-or lets say that the 5 survivers probably didn't have massive blood loss. The doctor was English- and unique-not a model for Western medicine. In general, I don't recommend using a unique case or an exception in medicine as a basis to 'save' the life of a character. It tends to look anachronistic. Real true succesful blood replacement starts in the 20th Century with blood matching. Most practicioners could not use his techniques-they didn't have his skills or his equipment available. Saline(ringers solution actually) was used to replace blood in 1884, but was not a real red blood substitute. I don't think it could work with massive blood loss-and I am not sure how someone in the west would get some. Not a likely product to keep on hand. Milk was used just prior to this. Let's just say milk wasn't the way to go. Sometimes patients did survive.

But to the inexperienced, any blood loss can look massive- a layman in the 1800s would simply have no idea how much blood had been lost, and a lot of American doctors wouldn't either. So you could have a character LOOK as if they lost massive amounts of blood-but not actually lose that much. With normal healing the body would replace the lost red blood cells.


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HannaHeyes

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PostSubject: Re: Another Medical Question   Sun Jun 17, 2012 7:22 pm

Thanks for the input Beejay sm I really appreciate it!

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PostSubject: Re: Another Medical Question   Sun Jun 17, 2012 7:29 pm

You're welcome. sm By the way, i keep meaning to ask you; what kind of cookies do you serve on the dark side?

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HannaHeyes

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PostSubject: Re: Another Medical Question   Sun Jun 17, 2012 7:32 pm

Dark chocolate... Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: Another Medical Question   Sun Jun 17, 2012 7:35 pm

Oh my gosh--I AM THERE!!!!!

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Keays

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PostSubject: Re: Another Medical Question   Sun Jun 17, 2012 9:42 pm

Dark chocolate!!? I'm coming too! Of course I'm already on the Dark Side so I'll just bring more dark chocolate!

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PostSubject: Re: Another Medical Question   Sun Jun 17, 2012 9:58 pm

Umm...Anybody for lemon?? lol2
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PostSubject: Re: Another Medical Question   Mon Jun 18, 2012 7:33 am

I'll take the chocolate myself.

On the topic that started this -- I can tell you from personal experience that in these days of aids/bse and other blood born diseases we now see blood shortages so that transfusions are much rarer than they were last century (20th, not 19th). (I had an unexpected, extensive blood loss from some surgery about 15 years ago, transfusion was considered but there were shortages, etc. and eventually they decided not to transfuse.) Treatment for massive blood loss now is sometimes just to make sure there is no more blood lost, then let the patient regenerate naturally (while consuming lots of iron and folic acid). Said patient is mobile but tires really easily for months (I think it took me about 4 months to be pretty much back to normal).

So if you decide to go take the natural regeneration approach -- don't let him recover his energy very quickly. I spent 2 extra days at the hospital (2 days more than the surgery alone warranted) then was up and back at work within days but my job's a desk job and I was pulling short days for several months. Heyes would not be able to resume the trail for weeks at least.
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PostSubject: Re: Another Medical Question   Mon Jun 18, 2012 12:18 pm

Thanks Riders. That may be the approach I take. :)

As for the cookies, ever so often, they have caramel chips Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: Another Medical Question   Tue Jun 19, 2012 1:03 pm

Hi there Hannaheyes

I'm not sure what sort of massive blood loss you are referring to but I thought I'd add my 2 cents worth. Basically a large loss of blood couldn't be replaced because the methods for carrying out a blood transfusion had not been perfected at all at that time - although there was experimentation going on (as BJ already detailed - sm ).

The body has ca. 8 pints of blood and you can lose about a third of it but after that...uhm...well it's not a good idea. More than two thirds and you are pretty dead.

What is the cause? If someone is hurt and there is a wound which is bleeding profusely it was possible to use a ligature to sew up the blood vessel. Primitive clamps were sometimes available to clamp a blood vessel closed and then a thread would be tied off around it. Bandages and pressure were also used of course. Once again take note of the almost non-existent hygiene and a lot of people died as a result of this rather than the original wound.

Also, as BJ said, bleeding can look very dramatic - Even a small artery can cause havoc because they spurt and splatter and there seems to be an awful lot more blood than is actually the case. Once the bleeding has been stopped, the body replaces the fluid very quickly. It has a bit more to do replacing the rest of the ingredients. LOL - which means the person will be in a very weekened state for a bit.

I'm not sure exactly what you want by way of blood loss info but I hope this helps a bit.
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PostSubject: Re: Another Medical Question   Tue Jun 19, 2012 1:21 pm

Thanks Allegra, that's pretty much what I needed! Between all the responses, I think I have the answer I was searching for sm

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