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November 22, 1965

Five Years of Experience With Massive Blood Transfusions

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, School of Medicine, Wayne State University, Detroit, and Detroit Receiving Hospital.

JAMA. 1965;194(8):851-854. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03090210015004

In the five-year period, 1959-1963, 209 patients were given massive blood transfusions of at least 5,000 ml within a 24-hour period. The overall mortality was 45% and increased with the amount of blood given, the age of the patient, complicating medical conditions, and shock. When shock was prevented or quickly corrected, the mortality was 7%; however, when prolonged shock occurred in patients with preexisting or associated disease, the mortality was 93%. A serious bleeding diathesis occurred in seven patients. The incidence of wound complications in these patients was about four times that of the general surgical population for the hospital. One case of homologous serum jaundice occurred in a survivor.