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September 13, 1965

The Massachusetts Red Cross Blood Program

Author Affiliations

From the Massachusetts Regional Blood Program, American National Red Cross, Boston.

JAMA. 1965;193(11):945-949. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03090110083020

During the year 1941, the American National Red Cross, nation-wide and in Massachusetts began collecting human blood for the production of plasma for the use of the armed forces and for civilian defense. Later some of this plasma was processed by various laboratories under army contracts for the production of albumin and γ-globulin, using processes initiated by the late Professor Edwin J. Cohn of Harvard. By the end of the war over 800,000 units of blood had been collected by the Red Cross in Massachusetts alone. With the ending of the war this program ceased. On Dec 8, 1945, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health initiated a blood procurement program for supplying whole blood and plasma to supplement the resources of the various hospital blood banks. Various chapters of the Red Cross assisted this program by furnishing volunteers to help man collecting centers, to solicit donations, and to furnish canteen

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