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Mr. Higginson’s Transfusion Instrument

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Mr. Higginson’s Transfusion Instrument

Although some of the early experiments on blood transfusion had been done in England, and although its revival [14]in the nineteenth century was initiated in England, yet it is to be noticed that most of the references to it up to 1874 are to be found in the works of Continental writers. Nevertheless, an important modification was introduced into the technique of the operation in 1857 by Higginson, who applied the principle of a rubber syringe with ball-valves for transferring the blood from the receptacle into which it was drawn, to the vein of the recipient. This apparatus is illustrated here, as it is of some interest in the history of medicine.

A is a metallic cup, of 6-oz. capacity, to receive the supply of blood. B an outer casing, which will hold 5 oz. of hot water, introduced through an aperture at C. D is a passage leading into an elastic barrel, composed of vulcanized india-rubber, E, of which the capacity is 1 oz. F′ the exit for the blood into the injection-pipe G. At D and F there are ball-valves, capable of closing the upper openings when thrown up against them, but leaving the lower openings always free. The blood, or other fluid, poured into the cup A, has free power to run unobstructed through D, E, F; a small plug H is therefore provided to close the lower aperture F when necessary. The tube G is of vulcanized india-rubber, and terminates in a metal tube O for insertion into the vein.