It is good that some projects require a level of understanding of the human body, how it works and how medical devices interact with the human body in a very specific area. We are currently learning about blood and the area of plasmapheresis.
Now this is a specialist area! Linked to blood transfusion, plasmapheresis is the separation of plasma from the blood. We have developed knowledge on the clinical aspects of this therapy and also its history, or development over the millennia to what is being used today. Not surprisingly, this therapy started with the observation of animal behaviour.
Desert animals can be seen to let blood from their legs by rubbing them against trees, stones and other hard objects. It was first observed by the Egyptians, and copied (which must have hurt!). The Greeks developed it further as a preventative therapy (intentionally cutting peoples legs, arms..) as well as a remedy before blood cupping was introduced. Surprisingly the pole often found in barbers shops (red and white striped pole) was based upon this practice of cupping – collecting blood. The red stripe standing for blood and the white for the bandage. Now a proper barber’s shop is hard to find, but it is strange that the colour scheme for many of these establishments comes from this practice!
Blood transfusion followed and was developed once scientific discoveries made it possible (the discovery of oxygen by Joseph Priestly, the discovery of blood groups by Karl Landsteiner to name a few). The first blood bank opened in 1937 in Chicago, USA and along with the Second World War pushed the development of blood transfusion stratospherically. The collection of plasma was paramount in saving lives in the Second World War and so it was not long before the first plasmapheresis procedure was first performed in 1959 in Los Angeles, USA. Blood could then be collected and separated into its constituents, and alongside the new knowledge on blood based diseases, could work to combat conditions where an enhancement of plasma or the exchange of plasma benefited the patient.
So, there you have a brief history lesson! The key thing we have learnt is that blood is actually quite complex when you look at it in detail, yet vital to the smooth running of the human body. THAY Medical are undertaking a project that relates to the therapy of plasmapheresis but we cannot divulge more than this at this current time. It is another area of knowledge and experience we can incorporate into our portfolio.
The staff at THAY Medical