The Price of Freedom: Americans at War Home Collection Search

Object Record


Surgeonís Bloodletting Set
Medical Science, Division of Science, Medicine, and Society, National Museum of American History

Surgeonís Bloodletting Set

Catalog #: M-12352    Accession #: 285125
Credit: Medical Science, Division of Science, Medicine, and Society, National Museum of American History

Dimensions / Weight

Dimensions: 9" H x 9.5" W x 9" D

Physical Description

Leather box, lined with wool and pinted paper which has been stuffed with flax

General History

Phlebotomy or bloodletting is the longest running practice in medicine. It was used in ancient Egypt and Greece and continued until the early 20th century. Dr. Benjamin Rush, signed the Declaration of Independence and was a leading figure in colonial American medicine. Rush was a firm believer in bleeding. Rush however, was convinced the body heald 12 quarts of blood instead of the six quarts it actually holds. President George Washingtonís death may have been hastened by bloodletting as Washington was bled for an infected throat, losing 4 Ĺ quarts of blood in 24 hours. He died shorlty after the final bloodletting.


Keywords

Country: United States
Eras: Colonization and Settlement (1585-1763), Revolution and the New Nation (1754-1820s)
Smithsonian National Museum of American History, Behring Center Printable ScriptVisit the MuseumEducationCredits