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Circulation of the Blood

ISBN-10: 1596052295
ISBN-13: 9781596052291
Edition: N/A
Authors: William Harvey
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Description: If the pulsations of the arteries fan and refrigerate the several parts of the body as the lungs do the heart, how comes it, as is commonly said, that the arteries carry the vital blood into the different parts, abundantly charged with vital  More...

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Book details

Publisher: Cosimo, Incorporated
Binding: Paperback
Size: 4.75" wide x 7.75" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.660

If the pulsations of the arteries fan and refrigerate the several parts of the body as the lungs do the heart, how comes it, as is commonly said, that the arteries carry the vital blood into the different parts, abundantly charged with vital spirits, which cherish the heat of these parts, sustain them when asleep, and recruit them when exhausted? and how should it happen that, if you tie the arteries, immediately the parts not only become torpid, and frigid, and look pale, but at length cease even to be nourished? -from the Introduction This seminal work of medical literature, first published in 1628, spells out in clear, lucid language how the human heart pumps blood around the body via its own exclusive circulatory route. What seems like an obvious concept to us today was in fact quite revolutionary at the time: Harvey's defiance of the medical "common knowledge" of his time laid the groundwork for all modern investigations of the circulatory system, and may be the most momentous discovery of 17th-century medicine. This important volume also includes a series of letters from Harvey to his medical colleagues in which he defends his then-astonishing theories, plus Harvey's "The Anatomy of Thomas Parr," a fascinating 1635 report on the dissection of the corpse of "a poor farmer of extremely advanced age." OF INTEREST TO: readers of scientific history, medical students British naturalist, anatomist, and doctor WILLIAM HARVEY (1578-1657) was educated at Cambridge, Canterbury, and Padua, and became a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in 1607. He served as court physician to both King James I and King Charles I.

Born in Folkestone, Kent, England, Harvey was a British physiologist whose discovery of the circulation of the blood drastically changed medicine. In fact, Harvey is generally regarded as the founder of modern physiology. The publication of his Exercitatio Anatomica de Motu Cordis et Sanguinis in Animalibus (1628) was a landmark event, widely considered the most important medical book ever published. His observations of the heart's functions and blood flow were based on anatomical studies on cadavers, animals, and himself. The son of a wealthy businessman, Harvey was a student at Cambridge University, where he studied medicine. He completed his medical training at the leading European medical school of the period, Padua, where he was a student of the famous anatomist Girolamo Fabricius. When he completed his doctorate in medicine in 1602 he returned to London and was appointed physician to St. Bartholomew's Hospital. His reputation grew, and he was elected to the Royal College of Physicians, with which he was associated for the rest of his career. Ten years prior to the publication of his great work, he was appointed as a physician to James I. After the Scottish civil war and the demise of James I, Harvey returned to London and resumed his medical practice. He continued to observe animal life wherever he traveled and wrote two additional works on animal locomotion and comparative and pathological anatomy. However, it was the publication of his book on the circulation of the blood that assured him "a place of first importance in the history of science and medicine. By this discovery he revolutionized physiological thought" (Dictionary of Scientific Biography). His work also encouraged others to study anatomy. Harvey's personal library, which he donated to the London College of Physicians, was unfortunately destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666.

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