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Article
January 16, 1943

THE HOSPITAL AND THE SYPHILIS PROBLEM IN PROSPECTIVE BLOOD DONORS

Author Affiliations

NASHVILLE, TENN.

From the Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health and the Department of Medicine, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

JAMA. 1943;121(3):182-186. doi:10.1001/jama.1943.02840030020005
Abstract

In the United States each year a large number of persons volunteer as blood donors at the request of friends and relatives. During the present emergency the American Red Cross is collecting large quantities of blood from voluntary donors. Most of them young adults, these volunteers consider themselves in good health and free of disease. Many of them, however, are found on serologic examination by one of the standard methods to have a positive reaction for syphilis. Of 19,141 tests performed on prospective blood donors over a period of about five and one-half years at the Vanderbilt University Hospital, 3.3 per cent of the donors were found to give a positive or a doubtful serologic reaction for syphilis on one examination.1 While a single positive or doubtful blood test is not sufficient evidence to make a diagnosis of syphilis, nevertheless the possibility that these persons may have syphilis must

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