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November 27, 1937


JAMA. 1937;109(22):1818. doi:10.1001/jama.1937.02780480050016

The enormous literature on the phenomenon of the clotting of blood attests vigorous investigative activity. William Hewson1 wrote in 1770 of his observation that coagulation could be influenced by salts of various kinds. During the middle years of the nineteenth century active investigation resulted in the discovery that serum contained an organic substance, which could also be extracted from blood clots, that had the power of initiating the coagulation of blood and of various ordinarily incoagulable body fluids. Alexander Schmidt showed in 1872 that inorganic salts had an essential part in the process of clotting. The view that calcium assumes a peculiar rôle in blood coagulation appears to have arisen with Hammarsten, who vigorously championed the specific nature of its action. Most workers accept the requirement of calcium as constituting a link in the chain of events ending in the formation of the fibrin clot but at present there

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