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June 11, 1955


Author Affiliations

U. S. N.; Bethesda, Md.

From the U. S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Public Health Service, National Institutes of Health, National Microbiological Institute, Laboratory of Biologics Control (Dr. Murphy); and the Armed Services Blood and Blood Derivatives Group, Armed Services Medical Procurement Agency, Washington, D. C. (Commander Sproul). Red Cross Midwestern Area Blood Program Chief Nurse, Assistant Director, Nursing Service, Blood Program, Midwestern Area American National Red Cross, St. Louis (Miss Getz).

JAMA. 1955;158(6):449-454. doi:10.1001/jama.1955.02960060007003

Since the start of the National Blood Program in 1950 there has been a consistent loss of a small percentage of blood collected for processing into plasma due to excessive hemolysis. Although the over-all incidence of hemolysis has been fairly consistent, the daily occurrence has been sporadic, and not attributable to any one collection center. This recurring irregularity has aroused much curiosity and, indeed, concern, for although the percentage is small, it represents a formidable total number of units of blood. Many of these bloods are not lost entirely, for they may be diverted to fractionation. Still, the constant presence of unnecessarily hemolyzed blood of unknown cause has been a matter for consideration. Since hemolysis often results from improper techniques, such as contamination1 or rough handling of the blood including temperature irregularities,2 it serves as a readily available sign of trouble3 when seen in whole blood or

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