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2011 Canada Pure Gold $5 Coin - 75th Anniv of Dr. Norman Bethune’s Invention of the World’s First Mobile Blood Transfusion Vehicle

Item: #2011NORMANBETHUNE5D    |    Mfr: Royal Canadian Mint    |   #113856

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2011 Canada Pure Gold $5 Coin - 75th Anniv of Dr. Norman Bethune’s Invention of the World’s First Mobile Blood Transfusion Vehicle

Face Value: $5
Mintage: 5000
Composition: 99.99% Gold
Weight (g): 3.13
Diameter (mm): 16
Finish: Proof

Design: It was 1936, on the front lines of the Spanish Civil War, when one of medicine’s most memorable figures re-defined the very essence of military medicine.

Canadian-born Dr. Henry Norman Bethune (1890–1939) was dismayed to see that some 75% of wounded soldiers were dying of blood loss when their injuries should not have been fatal. He recognized that precious time was being lost transporting the wounded to medical facilities, and developed a way to bring medical care directly to them in the field.

Bethune began collecting blood from volunteer donors and set about the challenging task of refrigerating the blood and transporting it—along with critical dressings and surgical tools; to the front lines. It was a stunning innovation that enabled Bethune and his small medical team to perform as many as 100 blood transfusions in the field every day—and save thousands of lives.

Bethune’s mobile blood transfusion unit is just one of many breakthrough contributions he made to the evolution of medicine. Indeed, it’s credited with inspiring the Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (M.A.S.H.) units that appeared during the Korean War.

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