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To the Editor:—
In the Nov. 9 issue of The Journal, page 1280, your editorial on decubitus ulcers suggests "blood transfusion if the hemoglobin level falls below 15 Gm. per 100 cc..." This recommendation fails to take into account that women seldom attain a hemoglobin level as high as 15 Gm. per 100 cc. and that blood transfusion should never be given until it is clearly apparent that the benefits will outweigh the hazards to the patient. The ordering of a blood transfusion should never be a casual procedure. The physician should first assure himself that the patient's need for blood justifies the not insignificant risks of morbidity and mortality. One survey, for instance, showed that the potential hazards of a blood transfusion were as great as those of an appendectomy.
Rutherford PS. BLOOD TRANSFUSIONS. JAMA. 1958;166(5):526. doi:10.1001/jama.1958.02990050096020