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Committee on Blood
September 21, 1964

Single Unit Transfusions

JAMA. 1964;189(12):955. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03070120077026

THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION'S Committee on Blood, cognizant of statements that either support or more frequently criticize the transfusion of a single unit of blood, recognizes that the administration of blood involves many factors and medical considerations. Every transfusion should be carefully considered and ordered only when the expected benefits sufficiently outweigh the probable hazards.

Studies indicate that many single unit blood transfusions associated with surgery may not be necessary. However, there are cases requiring blood where a larger need is satisfied by a single unit. Should fear of criticism prompt the administration of two units, where only one unit is necessary, recognized dangers of transfusion to the patients may be compounded. The Committee recognizes that in indicated situations, the transfusion of a single unit of blood reflects sound judgment and is in keeping with good medical practice.

The Committee believes that the decision to transfuse blood should be made

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