Donation of Blood and Blood Transfusion

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This volume contains an article from Clinical Pediatrics (Vol. 7, No. 10) entitled "Blood Transfusion and Philately: Encouraging the Post Office to Honor Blood Donors" by Robert A. Kyle, M.D. and Irving J. Wolman, M.D., and is referred to in the introduction.

The lengthy introduction to the volume begins with the discovery of the flow of blood through the circulatory system first described by William Harvey in 1628. He is honored by a stamp from Argentina in 1960. Austrian physician, Karl Landsteiner is also noted for his discovery that human blood was made up of different types, then allowing blood transfusions and is also seen on a 1968 stamp from Austria and from the German Democratic Republic in the same year. The introduction continues the story by saying that countries around the world were outpacing the United States in the promotion of the donation of blood and blood transfusion and those countries had very profitable sales for their postage stamps. The first stamp was issued in Hungary as a semi-postal (a stamp used for a charitable purpose) for the Hungarian Red Cross showing blood transfusion. But it wasn’t until 1971 that the United States produced the first stamp honoring blood donors. A section of the volume focuses on the occasion.


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