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December 21, 1964

Annual Number of Tranfusion Deaths

JAMA. 1964;190(12):1079. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03070250061023

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To the Editor:—  In The Journal for Aug 31, 1964 (189:660) there appeared a communication, "Hospital Transfusion Committee," by D. V. Walz, MD, in which it is stated that "Approximately 3,000 people die each year from transfusions." The reference cited is Hirsh, B.L.: Responsibilities in Blood Transfusion, Medicolegal Digest1:21-26 [June] 1960. In the communication by Hirsh, no references are cited and no source for the validity of the statement is made. To repeat an undocumented statement in a reputable medical journal does an injustice to all involved in the operation of a transfusion service and gives lay writers cause to continue the output of scathing articles decrying transfusion practices.

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