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Blood and Blood Substitutes by Abigail Kraft

From the age of fourteen, I have worked in emergency medicine. Few people can say that; most of them are from the same town where I grew up: Darien, Connecticut. There, the town’s emergency medical services, Darien EMS – Post 53, are run almost entirely by teenagers. To paraphrase Charles Dickens, it was the best of ideas, it was the worst of ideas – on the one hand, I have had the kind of experiences in medicine that most people my age can only dream of; on the other hand, well, I’ve had the kind of experiences in medicine that most people my age can only dream of.

A lot of these experiences center around blood, which, to someone with the background I have in medieval history, only makes sense. Blood, as Aryeh Shander points out when discussing transfusion, is one of the four humors that medieval doctors believed governed the body, along with black bile, yellow bile, and phlegm. Read more