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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 ?
Alden Richards and Ken Chan in GMA Red Cross Bloodletting
But among a handful of poorer, and sometimes remote, communities in India, where medical services are too costly, waiting lists too long or modern doctors simply not trusted, traditional practices like bloodletting are favoured.
The Decline of Therapeutic Bloodletting and the Collapse of Traditional Medicine covers the history of a key medical approach which was almost completely abandoned without discussion or debate.
Bloodletting was common throughout history but was abandoned in the 19th century when it was determined that it had little or no effect on most diseases.
Although he had no complaints, he had been performing bloodletting with cupping for 4 years in an effort to improve his health.
However, a newer generation of clinicians began to question some of the practices of their teachers and even, to the horror and consternation of their older colleagues, wonder if bloodletting was really curing the right patients.
The ritual sees Shiites engage in self-flagellation and bloodletting to commemorate Hussein's martyrdom.
The bloodletting took place at a site called Cerro Cerrillos.
pdf, reveals a timeline of major hematology landmarks, beginning with "Ancient Egypt" where bloodletting instruments were used, and ending with a brief notice for the 2000s: "The possibilities are endless.
Vincent Lam; BLOODLETTING AND MIRACULOUS CURES; Weinstein Books (Fiction) $23.
SEVEN speakers have been beheaded and one murdered in a job that brings a new meaning to political bloodletting.
While all parties in this conflict -- including our government -- share responsibility for allowing this crisis to escalate, resulting in hundreds of innocent civilians injured and killed, those who have the task of healing the wounds of war in Gaza must focus on rebuilding once this bloodletting subsides.