Blood, blood, glorious blood.

blood transfusion

Last Updated on October 27, 2022 by ADMIN-TOM

What was it about the English in the 17th century, which made them want to go out and make scientific discoveries? In an age when their experiments were based on nothing more than an inkling as to what may happen when they experimented on other, less enlightened, subjects, they forged ahead and did some unspeakable things to their victims.

Take Richard Lower. Lower was born in St Tudy, Cornwall, England, in 1631 and became a renowned physician. He influenced the development of medical science for his pioneering work on blood transfusion.

In 1660, he and several other scientists became interested in using a technique of blood transfusion as a viable way of saving people’s lives. Lower, and several others, took part in what we would describe as gruesome experiments. Not once, but twice, Lower experimented on a hapless subject named Arthur Coga. Lower transfused half a pint of sheep’s blood into the arm of Coga and sat back to see what happened. Coga, by all modern standards, should have gone into shock, but didn’t. Two weeks later, Lower repeated the experiment on Coga and again there were no ill effects.

Enlightened scientists across Europe heard of Lower’s experiments and decided to conduct their own transfusion experiments. Not content with sheep’s blood, though, they tried milk, beer, wine, and a variety of other liquids, including in one case Mercury. In many cases, the experiments took a predictable course and many of the subjects died in distressingly agonizing ways. Today, we take blood transfusions for granted, though from time to time even in our enlightened times things go wrong. But if not for those poor souls, experimented on without knowing what was about to happen to them, I salute their sacrifice.

Copyright © Tom Kane July 2022

Footnote: Oddly enough, I experienced a blood transfusion today. At least, the little old lady in the bed next to mine was getting a transfusion. I was getting chemo and she was receiving a huge bag, a lot for someone so small. It was B+ blood and she must have been in her early 80s, but it didn’t faze her. Once the drip was removed, she was up and out, on her own, no need for family to be there to assist. 

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Download a FREE copy of The Brittle Sea.

Historical fiction

cover for my book The Brittle Sea

Book One: The Brittle Sea – FREE eBook on most readers
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A young Magda Asparov travels alone from her home in Ukraine to America, to marry Matthew Turner, an unscrupulous American businessman. It’s an arranged marriage and part of the dowry is land in America the Asparovs own. But this parcel of land holds a secret only Turner is aware of. It has a huge reservoir of oil beneath it.
Magda’s journey is cut-short when her ship, the Titanic, hits an iceberg & sinks.
Magda is rescued by another ship, captained by Richard Blackmore.

In the ship’s sickbay, it’s discovered the survivor has lost her memory. The crew of the rescue ship give the survivor a name, Maggie, to use until her memory returns. But as the ship sails to New York a new personality in Maggie takes hold, stifling Magda in the process.
On reaching New York, Maggie accepts Captain Blackmore’s offer of help and occupies Blackmore’s guest room in his apartment. But over time, the couple fall in love.

Meanwhile, Matthew Turner feels Magda is still alive and has unleashed his henchman, William Harker, a crook, con artist, money shark and murderer. Turner hates to feel his investment has slipped through his fingers and is keen to track Magda down and keep alive his hopes of cashing in on her oil field. Harker is told to find any trace of Magda among the survivors arriving in New York.

Harker discovers Magda is alive but is unaware of who she is. Harker makes his plans to snatch Magda away from Blackmore. Leaving Blackmore as collateral damage and his life in ruins.


“This one has it all – mystery, corruption, murder, kidnapping, love, revenge. Don’t plan to read it as a stand alone. You’ll definitely want the next books in the trilogy because the ending of book one is a cliff hanger. I couldn’t put this book down although I became so worried about the fate of Blackmore I had to regroup myself. Tom Kane did one helluva job writing this set.”

“This book has everything Romance, Murder, Mystery which automatically hooks you to the story.”

“Set against the backdrop of early 20th century America, an incredible story of love, loss, injustice, perseverance, mental illness & heartbreak.”

“A fictional romp through history, full of well-written twists & turns.
An arranged marriage, tragic love story & a bad guy you’ll love to hate.”

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