At first glance it would seem that the usefulness of the public health laboratory for Rh factor determinations might be open to question. Certainly it would not have occurred to us to enter a field which up to very recently was rather preempted by hospital laboratories and very few of those.
Our entrance into this somewhat unusual field was due to a request from the Maternal Welfare Committee of the Passaic County Medical Society. One of our largest hospitals was not ready to take on the added burden of Rh determinations for its blood bank and it was suggested that we do this work for them. It was also suggested that, since we received a very large number of specimens for premarital and antepartum Wassermann tests, we should perform Rh determinations on these specimens. Accordingly, after a preliminary period of study we began this work as a routine in June
LEE FP, van SAUN AI, BROWN EL. THE Rh FACTOR AND THE PUBLIC HEALTH LABORATORY. JAMA. 1945;128(1):19. doi:10.1001/jama.1945.02860180021006