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May 20, 1961

Measure of Blood Loss in Operating Room

Author Affiliations

330 Brookline Ave., Boston 15, Mass.

JAMA. 1961;176(7):634-635. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.03040200070021

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To the Editor:—  In the Jan. 7, 1961, issue of The Journal, page 73, there appeared an inquiry regarding methods for determining blood loss in the operating room. The published reply to this inquiry recommended weighing blood-soaked sponges, and subtracting the previous dry weight of the same materials. There are a number of defects that seriously limit the usefulness of this method. One can weigh sponges and measure what is in suction bottles, but one cannot weigh blood-soaked drapes or other linens during the operation. To obtain the dry weight of the bloody linens would require selecting the same items out of a clean kit and weighing them. This approach is cumbersome and too inaccurate to be useful in guiding replacement therapy.The information really needed is the patient's blood volume preoperatively, during the operation, and afterward, to guide accurate replacement of loss. This is now possible with a new

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