Blood and the history of the diagnoses and treatment of blood diseases are of interest to many people. This book traces the development of the interest in diseases of the blood since earliest times. Rituals associated with blood together with a belief held until relatively recently that blood contains the soul or memory is explored. Certain figures that appear to have been airbrushed out of history are rightly reinstated. The role of conflict/war as a catalyst in developing new techniques especially in blood transfusion are documented from the early part of the twentieth century through the Spanish Civil War and the two world wars, including the research into the making of the atomic bomb. The halcyon days of the early 1980s, subsequently followed by the HIV/AIDS epidemic, are explored, together with the human response to that crisis. Novel developments since the 1980s are documented, including changes in diagnostic technologies and the genetic revolution. The success of the treatment of malignant blood diseases, culminating in the concept of ‘personalized medicine’ is critically evaluated. The new era in haematology, as in other branches of medicine, will undoubtedly bring challenges as well as benefits. The relationships between doctors and their patients are undergoing profound changes, and the final results of that change may throw up more problems than solutions. The relentless increase in bureaucracy and the takeover by modern management techniques is critically evaluated.
Table of Contents
- Chapter 1 Science before science
- Chapter 2 The Enlightenment and the unravelling of the circulation
- Chapter 3 From a dream to a nightmare: HIV, haemophilia, and AIDS
- Chapter 4 Red blood cells: How they live and how they die
- Chapter 5 Blood and the hidden virus
- Chapter 6 Radiation and transplantation: Towards an understanding of stem cells
- Chapter 7 Leukaemia
- Chapter 8 ‘If you prick us, do we not bleed?’: Bleeding and blood clotting
- Chapter 9 Molecules, genes, and gene therapy
- Chapter 10 The same specialty—but different approaches!
- Chapter 11 The role of technology in haematology
- Chapter 12 Combination chemotherapy