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What was Versalius'/Harvey's Contribution to Medicine?

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Introduction

What was Versalius'/Harvey's Contribution to Medicine? Versalius and Harvey's contribution to medicine were a detailed study of the human anatomy and dissection. Both were Professors of Surgery and made a great contribution to surgery. Andreas Versalius was born in Brussels in1514 and studied medicine in Paris and Louvain and met artists who were studying skeletons and dissecting bodies to make paintings more realistic, Versalius discovered that Galen was wrong in some important details of anatomy. After an argument in Louvain over bleeding techniques he became professor of surgery and anatomy at Padua.. Versalius did his own dissections and wrote books based on his observations using accurate diagrams to illustrate his work, like "The Fabric Of The Human Body" (1543). ...read more.

Middle

Before Harvey, doctors and Galen thought that new blood was constantly being made in the liver to replace blood that was burnt up in the body. But no one proved how blood circulated around in the body. Harvey contribution to Human anatomy was that he discovered circulation of blood in human body. He showed how blood is carried away from the heart by the arteries and return to the heart in veins. Harvey proved that heart act as a pump recirculating the blood and that the blood does not burn up, so no other new organ is needed to manufacture new blood. Harvey also identified the difference between arteries and veins and he also noticed that blood changes colour as it passed through the lungs. ...read more.

Conclusion

As the microscopes were not invented till 1600s, Harvey could not see the capillaries or tiny blood carrying vessels, which exist between arteries and veins. As capillaries are too tiny to see with naked eye. But what ever Harvey observed helped the surgery a lot. Harvey's work did really change the practice of surgery, but was a very important discovery and turning point in Human anatomy. Bleeding continued to be performed and Blood transfusions were not really successfully, until the discovery of Blood Groups in 1900. Both Versalius and Harvey's discoveries and contribution to Human anatomy could not be possible without widespread communication of new discoveries. As communication played an important part, the invention of Printing press helped to spread new ideas by publishing of medical books and journals. John Gutenberg introduced printing in 1454 in Europe, which led to increase in publishing of medical books to doctors and surgeons worldwide. ...read more.

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