PERHAPS there is no more important consideration when a transfusion of blood is requested than to remember the possibility of a complication during or after transfusion. For instance, the benefit to be gained from the transfused blood might not be important enough to the patient's progress to justify taking the chance of a possible untoward reaction. Nearly thirty years ago Pemberton1 expressed the opinion that "the procedure is very often considered only a simple intravenous medication or a minor operation while in reality its potential dangers place it with major operations."
Possibly realistic views such as this one have been insufficiently appreciated, for it is known that even today a number of untoward reactions and occasional fatalities occur in a certain percentage of all instances in which blood is transfused.
In the last few years, and particularly during World War II, the thought, study and research expended on this
SELDON TH, OSBORN JE. BLOOD TRANSFUSION AND REACTION IN SURGICAL PATIENTS. Arch Surg. 1949;59(3):783-792. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1949.01240040791038