Blood transfusion apparatus, 1914-1918.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
A transfusion kit consisting of connecting tubes, a glas storage jar, and hollow needles and tubes for bleeding the donor and introducing blood into the patient. Blood treated with anticoagulants, which stop the blood clotting (forming into lumps), was first stored with some succes during World War I. Although this made transfusions for casualties technically posible, they were carried out infrequently, as blood did not keep well and supplies were therefore often unavailable. Improvements in the preservation and storage of blood developed between the wars meant that blood transfusions saved many lives in World War II.