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William Harvey - circulation

60 second histories

This video covers:  An introduction to William Harvey, his early years and his discoveries.

My name is William Harvey; I was born in the county of Kent in fifteen seventy-eight. I studied medicine at Cambridge and Padua in Italy as well as working as a doctor in London and I now lecture in anatomy. I am most famous for my sixteen twenty eight publication An Anatomical Account of the Motion of the Heart and Blood in Animals. You see I specialise in the circulation of the blood. Through my studies, I have proven that blood flows around the body, and with the heart acting as a pump it recirculates the blood. Before my discovery many doctors still believed in Galen’s theory, which was that blood was constantly being made by the liver to replace that which had been burnt up in the body. Many doctors before me had challenged Galen’s theory but they were unable to prove just how blood flowed around the body. What I have discovered is that blood is carried away from the heart in arteries and returns to the heart in the veins.
17th Century
Medicine & Health
Key people
Medicine & health
William Harvey
Key words: 
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