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also called bleeding, practice of drawing blood from the body in the treatment of disease. General bloodletting consists of the abstraction of blood by incision into an artery (arteriotomy) or vein (venesection, or phlebotomy). Local bloodletting is the abstraction of blood from smaller vessels by watercupping or by leeching. From antiquity through the 18th cent. bloodletting was widely practiced in western medicine. A broad assortment of ailments were believed to result from the impurity or superabundance of blood in the system; periodic bloodletting was felt to assure the patient of good health. In modern times the medicinal leech (Hirudo medicinalis) is still used in some areas of the world for the removal of blood from bruises and black eyes. Venesection is employed to treat erythremia, an abnormal condition characterized by the overproduction of red blood cells, and to relieve the congestion of blood resulting from acute heart failure.



the drawing of blood from the blood vessels (most often from a vein) for therapeutic purposes.

In modern medicine the indications for bloodletting are strictly limited. It is effective when there is acute cardiac insufficiency and it is necessary to decrease the flow of blood to the heart, thus lightening its work; when there is edema of the lungs, in order to decrease the quantity of blood in the pulmonary vessels; in serious hypertensive crises to rapidly lower the blood pressure; in some blood diseases; and in some types of poisoning, such as carbonmonoxide or illuminating gas (which contains carbon monoxide) poisoning. In bloodletting 200–400 milliliters of blood are usually drawn by puncturing or incising the vein and sometimes by using medicinal leeches.

References in periodicals archive ?
Now Wes Kussmaul claimsthat most information security technology is as useless as bloodletting.
BAGHDAD - Violence across Iraq, including shelling and clashes in a militant-held city on Baghdad's doorstep, killed 30 people on Wednesday amid a protracted surge in bloodletting with polls looming next month.
Not unlike the way bloodletting was once sold to the masses as being good for their health.
Devi suffers from chronic arthritis and firmly believes that her elderly "doctor" or practitioner, Mohammed Gyas, has the skills to cure her and others through the ancient treatment of bloodletting.
The global effort to halt the market in conflict diamonds, for example, has had some success in reducing the bloodletting in West Africa.
The idea of bloodletting or shock therapy as cures for what ails you seems antiquated and foolhardy.
For more than 2,000 years, the squirming annelids were a mainstay of medical treatment based on the ancient practice of bloodletting.
Objects are displayed from bloodletting instruments to early X-ray equipment.
Edward Muir is as much interested in understanding what may have happened in the course of the riot itself, as he is in deciphering traces in local memories of the violence and bloodletting.
31 /PRNewswire/ -- When you consider that Hippocrates prescribed bloodletting, Pliny the Elder, a noted Roman scholar, instructed cold sufferers to "kiss the hairy muzzle of a mouse" and Indian medicine men suggested steaming herbal baths, modern medicine has come a long way in treating the common cold.
Among the unspeakable acts of depravity to grace Microsoft's "Judgment Day" Party will be Deathmatch T95, the bloodletting culmination of two weeks of global competition involving DOOM II, Heretic and The Ultimate DOOM.
on the Syrian Government to take urgent action and halt "the bloodletting.