Despite the fact that intravenous therapy is a familiar sight in hospitals and healthcare facilities around the country, most of us are unaware of the IV’s history. Although IV infusion therapy is a relatively new treatment option, the concept behind it dates back centuries.
We’ll take a look at the history of IV infusion therapy and how we got to where we are now in today’s topic. Intravenous therapy has been attempted since the 1400s, but the practice did not become mainstream until the 1900s when techniques for safe and successful use were developed.
Intravenous therapy (also known as IV therapy) is a medical procedure that involves injecting fluids, drugs, and nutrients into a patient’s vein.
Intravenous therapy (IV therapy) is widely used to rehydrate or supply nutrients to patients who are unable to take food or drink through their mouths. IV treatment is a common aspect of modern healthcare, as both medical professionals and patients are aware. It’s no longer a contentious therapy; numerous individuals around the country utilize it daily.
In a variety of ways, it is utilized to both enhance and save lives. Even though it is universally recognized, it is always being improved. It can also be used to provide medications or other forms of medical treatment, such as blood products or electrotherapy. It’s the quickest way to get blood, vitamins, medicines, and other essential fluids into a person’s circulatory system.
History of Infusion Therapy
Although IV infusion pumps were not invented during the Middle Ages, the concept for these types of therapies did. Experiments were conducted at the time in order to transfuse blood between humans and animals. These trials were subsequently put to a halt due to poor findings and a Vatican order. During this time, there were a few occurrences of human-to-human transfusions.
IV Therapy in the 15th Century
Pope Innocent VIII fell ill in 1492 and was given blood from healthy people, which was the first known effort at providing a therapeutic ingredient by IV injection. When this happened, the treatment failed, resulting in the death of the donors while the pope remained unhealed.
Several lives were lost during the process. Some argue that the idea of blood transfusions could not have been contemplated by medical professionals at the time and that a detailed explanation of blood circulation was not published until more than a century later.
The narrative is attributed to possible faults in the translation of historical documents, as well as an intentional invention, by some, while others believe it to be true. According to one of the most widely used medical history textbooks for medical and nursing students, the entire event is an anti-Semitic invention.
IV Therapy in the 17th Century
The science of blood transfusion was the starting point for IV therapy. In the 1660s, the first attempt at a blood transfusion utilizing basic IV treatment was recorded. The experiment, which involved two unfortunate dogs, proved to be a failure.
Later, Sir Christopher Wren used a pig’s bladder and a quill to develop the first successful IV infusion system. Richard Lower, a colleague of Wren’s, constructed tools and executed the first successful animal transfusion in 1665. Dr. Jean Baptiste Denis, after transfusing nine ounces of lamb’s blood into a young man in 1667, accomplished the first successful animal-to-human transfusion.
Infusion Therapy in the 18th Century
Dr. Thomas Latta originally introduced intravenous technology in 1883 during a cholera crisis in Britain. James Blundell, an English obstetrician, used intravenous blood administration to treat women who were bleeding heavily during or after birth in the 1830s.
During his lifetime, Sir Christopher Wren invented the first successful infusion device (1632-1723). The contraption, which was built out of a pig’s bladder and a writing quill, wasn’t particularly robust, but it did the job.
It allowed him to inject foreign drugs into a dog’s bloodstream. (Fun fact: Wren worked on the microscope as well.) Even though the device he built was difficult to secure, it paved the path for future inventions, such as the IV pumps we use today.
Dr. Philip Syng Physick, subsequently regarded as the Father of Modern Surgery, proposed human-to-human transfusions for the first time in 1796. Dr. James Blundell, a British obstetrician, undertook a series of human blood infusions for the treatment of postpartum hemorrhage shortly after his suggestion in 1818. Blundell conducted 10 transfusions between 1825 and 1830, five of which were successful. He also created several ground-breaking IV transfusion devices.
Infusion Therapy in the 19th Century
The late-nineteenth-century cholera epidemics in Europe accelerated the development of IV treatment. Dr. William Brooke O’Shaughnessy recognized in 1831 that cholera sufferers’ blood had lost a lot of water and salt and that the blood needed to be returned to its original specific gravity.
Dr. Thomas Latta discovered in the 1930s that injecting saltwater into the circulation may help combat cholera. Dr. James Blundell utilized transfusions for postpartum hemorrhages a few years later and discovered that the pace of infusion had a direct influence on its efficacy. Blundell went on to develop a device that tracked the rate of an infusion.
Infusions were maintained in a vacuum-sealed glass bottle in the 1930s. After a few decades, IVs were replaced with the plastic bag we use today. It was not until the 1940s that a nurse was permitted to give IV treatment. Nurses are generally the ones who provide IV treatment to patients these days.
Infusion Therapy in the 20th Century
In the 1930s, IV solutions were commercially accessible, paving the door for medicines to be administered by infusion. IVs were frequently administered in the 1950s using surgically implanted metal needles that were sharpened, sanitized, and reused.
According to one historian, “many physicians will still recall bringing these needles up to the light to identify barbs and filing them down by hand”. The “Rochester plastic needle” was invented by Dr. David Massa of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, in 1950. Massa’s idea incorporated a PVC tube over a needle that could be connected to a hub after it was inserted. This was the first disposable IV catheter device, which made IV treatment safer and more pleasant.