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January 27, 1923


JAMA. 1923;80(4):247-249. doi:10.1001/jama.1923.02640310027010

Transfusion of blood, when used with proper precautions, is a comparatively safe procedure; but when used indiscriminately and without proper consideration of technic and indications, blood transfusion can be followed by most serious complications, even by death.

The safety with which blood transfusion can be used in a variety of diseases is based mainly on Landsteiner's discovery of the blood groups. Landsteiner,1 in 1900, demonstrated that human beings and certain animals can be classified in three different groups. A fourth group was added by Jansky2 in 1907. This work of Landsteiner is the foundation underlying the modern development of blood transfusion.

As compared with the preliminary testing of donor and recipient, the technic of blood transfusion, i. e., the method to be applied in a given case, is of minor importance. Any method (syringe, stopcock, paraffinized glass cylinders, sodium citrate) is applicable, provided it is possible to measure