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August 31, 1964


JAMA. 1964;189(9):690. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03070090040011

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The transfusion of blood when indicated is acknowledged to be life-prolonging therapy of the highest order. To know when to administer, and how much to administer, requires consummate clinical skill. To discern when transfusion is unnecessary or contraindicated is equally imperative. The reasons against it are as important as the justifications for it, and the bête noire of it all is serum hepatitis.

In this issue of The Journal (p 660) there appears a discussion of the effectiveness of the transfusion-review committee in a small nonteaching community hospital. The transfusion-review committee was conceived in the hope that education and constant appraisal would elevate the standards for blood use. A "use factor," consisting of blood units used divided by the number of hospitalized patients, was accepted as one valid criterion. A decline in the use factor has been observed widely around the country where transfusion-review committees have conducted simultaneously programs of

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