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The Practice of Phlebotomy

Phlebotomy, otherwise known as venipuncture, is the art of drawing blood from the human body. This skill has been practiced since the time before the birth of Christ, originating in early civilizations of the ancient Egyptians and Mayans approximately 3000 years ago. The understanding of how the human body works, including the substance that flows through each individual, has continuously been on the forefront of the mind of many researchers, as well as within the very culture of many communities. As a result, these explorers needed the use of various instruments; as a way to be able to chart, investigate, and cleanse the body of impurities or excess fluid. The art of phlebotomy was once viewed as horrific and repulsive, but it has become an art in which the human race has worked diligently at to bring a perception of healing and understanding towards the patient.
The practice of Phlebotomy originated from humorism. Humorism was a theory, later being discredited, that was adopted by ancient Greek and Roman philosophers explaining the structure and mechanisms of the human body. Hippocrates, the father of medicine, believed that there were four basic elements to existence: earth, air, fire, and water; these related to four basic humors: blood, phlegm, black bile, and yellow bile. Breaking it down another step, these humors were centered to particular organs: the brain, the lungs, the spleen, and the gall bladder. People who became ill were expected to have an imbalance of the four humors. According to the BC Medical Journal (2010), "treatments consisted of removing an amount of the excessive humor by various means such as bloodletting, purging, catharsis, diuresis, and so on." During the 3rd century, Galen, a Greek physician, surge...

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Works Cited

Davis, A., & Appel, T. (2010, July 7). Bloodletting Instruments. Retrieved November 10, 2013, from www.gutenberg.org/files/33102/33102-h/33102-h.htm
Greenstone, MD, G. (2010). The History of Bloodletting. BC Medical Journal, 52(1), 12-14. Retrieved from http://www.bcmj.org/premise/history-bloodletting
Greenstone, MD, G. (n.d.). The history of bloodletting | BC Medical Journal. Retrieved from http://www.bcmj.org/premise/history-bloodletting
Kansas Historical Society (1998, November). Cool Things - Bloodletting Tools - Kansapedia - Kansas Historical Society. Retrieved October 21, 2013, from http://www.kshs.org/kansapedia/cool-things-bloodletting-tools/10325
Office of News & Communications (2000, February 18). The Long, Respected History of Bloodletting | Duke Today Mobile. Retrieved October 21, 2013, from http://m.today.duke.edu/2000/02/blood218.html
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