Phlebotomy - Treatment of Men and Surgeons

Phlebotomy - Treatment of Men and Surgeons

Blood cleansing has been used for millennia to help cure disease and restore health. In the 19th century, the method of removing blood from the body flourished.

In the photo, two medieval doctors take blood from a woman, while a third squats on the right, holding a klizma. Blood thinning has been used since ancient times as a method of maintaining the balance of the four tumors. By the second millennium, belief in the four tumors had begun to decline, but phlebotomy has remained popular to this day. Because surgery is a harsh procedure, many people in the past have sought healing for their ailments in the church. Coincidentally, in 1163, a decree of the church forbade monks and priests to practice bloodshed, considering it a satanic activity.

This is why the barber takes over and specializes in releasing blood. They performed many functions in those days. In addition to making a haircut, the barber could extract teeth, perform surgeries on small wounds, amputated limbs, or perform medical leeches (which suck blood). Between 1100 and 1500, barbers were shaped by figures familiar with the complexity and techniques of blood care.

With the study of surgery, there was a transition from razors to experienced doctors to perform blood flow. In 1800, the popularity of the blood flow method peaked. In many cases, the bleeding was performed with leeches. The leech is put on the skin until it bites and starts drinking blood.

Leeches can be placed on the anus and rectum to relieve inflammation in the abdominal area, such as: hepatitis, enteritis (inflammation of the intestinal mucosa), puerperal fever; to the mucous membrane of the nose, to relieve chronic bleeding, in the vagina to stimulate menstrual flow. Detailed methods have been developed for depositing leeches on almost every part of the body. For example, when leeches are placed on the neck (tonsils) or in the nasal cavity, the doctor ties the leech with a thread to remove it easily when it is full of blood. At the end of 1700, medical leeches were a commodity with too low a price. However, 100 years later, due to the increasing use of medical leeches and their deficiency caused by overexploitation, they increased their price by 300%. The cultivation of leeches by leech farmers and healthcare units is becoming a thriving industry, with leech imports increasing several times.

According to some studies, France imported about 42 million Hirudo Medicinalis leeches. When there was a shortage of leeches, they developed methods to expand the use of a leech, namely: he put a leech full of blood in vinegar or salt and instantly vomited the blood taken. In this way, it became suitable to be used again the next day. In those years, they used a large number of leeches - records show that for a patient, sometimes up to 100 leeches were placed within a few days.

In the 1870s, phlebotomy was still so popular among people, but doctors began to persuade patients not to practice it. In 2004, beers were declared a medical product. Surgeons who perform plastic and reconstructive operations find the leeches valuable in repatriation and amputation. With the study of Hirudin and its properties, medical leeches are increasingly used in modern medicine.

Back to blog