The_Crossing_Mandy_Hager.jpg THE CROSSING - THE SCIENCE WITHIN IT

TITLE: The Crossing

AUTHOR: Mandy Hager

PUBLISHER: Random House New Zealand

YEAR: 2009


The science in the book The Crossing is pretty much one thing: Blood Transfusion. The crucial part of this story begins when the main character Maryam boards the Star of the Sea and taken to the hospital part of the ship to get her blood drawn.

Blood Transfusion

Blood Transfusionis the process of taking blood or blood products from one person and inserting it into another to make up the lost blood components. Early transfusions used all of the blood, but today's modern practices use it seperately for parts such as red blood cells, white blood cells, plasma, clotting factors and platelets. The first attempt of this was in the 17th century on Pope Innocent VIII (who was sunk in a coma) which was performed by an unknown doctor/ physician. This person bought blood from 3 10-year-old boys but not knowing how to insert it, he merely shoved it into the Pope's mouth. This lead to not only the obvious death of the Pope, but also the 3 young boys as well.
The first successful Transfusion was done in June 15, 1667, by Dr. Jean-Baptiste Denys, who was the royal physician of King Louis XIV of France. This doctor transfused Sheep's blood into a 15-year-old boy and he survived it. Denys kept practicing these Blood Transfusions until his death, leaving a whole pile of controversy regarding the experiments he did with animals' blood. The actual procedure itself was banned in 1670.

All about Blood

There are many types (or groups, as some might say) of blood which include O, B, A and AB. Blood type O is the 'universal donor', so if a person with this blood type decides to donate some of their blood, it could be used for patients with any other sort of blood. In The Crossing, Maryam is found to be an O, so the Fathers on the ship decide to keep her as a "bleeder".


Type
You Can Give Blood To
You Can Receive Blood From
A+
A+ AB+
A+ A- O+ O-
O+
O+ A+ B+ AB+
O+ O-
B+
B+ AB+
B+ B- O+ O-
AB+
AB+
Everyone
A-
A+ A- AB+ AB-
A- O-
O-
Everyone
O-
B-
B+ B- AB+ AB-
B- O-
AB-
AB+ AB-
AB- A- B- O-

subpage_01.jpg

This picture contains a link to the website by American television broadcasting station PBS. It is about the history of blood, in a convenient timeline

Why people would need a Blood Transfusion

Blood Transfusions are mainly for people who:

  • Have a blood-related medical illness eg. Hemophilia.

  • TA (Traffic accident) patients that have lost dangerous amounts of blood from a serious (mainly physical) accident eg. Motor accident.

There are 2 types of blood used in transfusions. The first one is Autologous blood, which is the patient's own blood drawn before a surgery. The other type is Donor blood, which is used more commonly, especially for people such as sudden TA patients.

References

Websites

http://www.northernohio.redcross.org/info/bloodtype.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blood_transfusion

Articles/ Books/ Journal entries

http://www.medicinenet.com/blood_transfusion/article.htm#

http://lymphoma.about.com/od/livingwithleukemia/qt/Blood-Transfusions-For-Leukemia-And-Lymphoma-Patients.htm

Other

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G_-9_CF02qI&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZuHdnTKBBKg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cem_huDz5Xw