elcam medical safety

Safety is in the details

First Recorded Stopcock Usage

elcam medical safety

The use of stopcocks in blood transfusion and fluid management has received a lot of press in recent years, and we as a company have certainly been talking about their usage with regard to our Marvelous™, healthcare’s first minimal residual volume luer-activated stopcock. Marvelous has been proven to significantly increase both patient and caregiver safety and improve workflow. If you’d like to learn more, you can visit at InfuseSafety.com/marvelous any time.

But we thought it might be interesting to look back a few years and find the first recorded use of a stopcock. Here’s a brief history, courtesy of The Institute of Biomedical Science:

James Blundell graduated from Edinburgh in 1813, became an obstetrician of note at Guy’s Hospital in London and is credited with reintroducing blood transfusion into medical practice. Blundell reported favourably on the benefit of transfusion in cases of post-partum hemorrhage in 1828. He was clearly influenced by, and generously acknowledged, the earlier work of John Henry Leacock, also a graduate of Edinburgh, whose dissertation in 1816 established the principle that donor and recipient must be of the same species.
Blundell accepted this principle and reported his results of injecting human blood using a syringe. He later devised an apparatus, known as Blundell’s Impellor, which consisted of a funnel and pump for the collection of donor blood for indirect transfusion into the veins of a patient. The invention of the hypodermic syringe by Alexander Wood in 1853 provided an important aid to transfusionists and led to the development of new devices to carry out transfusions.

In 1864 Dr Roussel in France and Dr James Aveling in London both used India rubber tubes to carry out direct human-to-human transfusions. James Aveling’s apparatus consisted of two silver tubes that were used to enter the donor and recipient blood vessels, connected to a length of India rubber tubing, with a stopcock at both ends and a bulb in the middle. When squeezed, the bulb acted as a pump to expedite the flow of blood.

Stopcock designs and transfusion methods in general have come a long way since those early days, but it’s important to consider the pioneering work of these early physicians in the development of medicine. We hope you enjoyed this brief peek; again, there’s much more at The Institute of Biomedical Science’s website. Check it out if you get the chance.

We’d also like to offer you a free copy of our white paper, Elcam Medical’s New & Innovative Minimal Residual Volume Luer-Activated Stopcock, which highlights the benefits of our stopcock and how it can be used to safety and workflow in the ICU.

Access yours today, and we’ll see you next time In the ICU.

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