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Title: Blood Feud: Carl Schmidt, Karl von Vierordt and the Evolution of Quantitative Blood Methods
Authors: Davis, Ian M. 
Keywords: 19 th Century; Blood; Carl Schmidt; Karl von Vierordt; Chemical analysis; Cell counting
Issue Date: 7-Nov-2022
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Abstract: This paper will examine the accomplishments and quarrels of two mid-19th Century German physiologists who worked towards characterizing the components of human blood. Between 1848 and 1852, Carl Schmidt and Karl von Vierordt, two accomplished investigators who taught at universities in Tübingen and Dorpat, published research that quantified the organic and inorganic components in human blood (Schmidt) and counted the number of red blood cells in a unit volume of blood (Vierordt). Their work had very little overlap, except in their mutual interest in improving blood fluid analytical techniques. Schmidt’s work attempted to determine how cholera and other diseases affected the amounts of blood components, while Vierordt’s goal intended to improve blood cell microscopy methods, a goal that he accomplished. Schmidt’s 1850 publication may have hastened Vierordt’s publications in 1852, three of which included criticisms of Carl Schmidt’s methods. Schmidt replied to the first two criticisms and left Vierordt’s final response unanswered. In reviewing their criticisms, it is difficult to understand the reason for their quarrel. They shared an interest in attempting to manage error in their determinations. Schmidt and Vierordt might have avoided their public dispute by communicating their misunderstandings via a series of letters or through the colleagues and mentors they had in common. A brief biography and work summary of each physiologist is provided, along with a summary of their disagreement.
DOI: 10.33774/coe-2022-x3l01
Rights: embargoedAccess
Appears in Collections:I&D CEIS20 - Vários
IIIUC - Vários

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