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Sept 28, 1963


JAMA. 1963;185(13):1037-1038. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.03060130055016

It has been reliably shown that an essential therapeutic measure, blood transfusion, causes death in approximately one of every 150 transfusions in persons over 40 years of age as a result of serum hepatitis. Since this is the age group to which most blood transfusions are given, and since many hundreds are given daily, such a high fatality rate becomes a major problem. (Variations in incidence of post-transfusion serum hepatitis have depended chiefly on the carefulness of the follow-up and on the source of blood donors; a valuable follow-up report is that of Allen and Sayman.1) The incidence of the disease after transfusion in this age group is usually reported as about 20%.

It has also been reliably demonstrated that, in approximately three quarters of transfused persons, gamma globulin from pools of human blood plasma prepared by the ethanol fractionation method has prevented serum hepatitis, and therefore such deaths,

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