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June 17, 1939


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JAMA. 1939;112(24):2552. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.02800240068023

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To the Editor:—  With the rapid development of the subject of vitamin K in the treatment of hemorrhage, a certain amount of confusion can easily occur. Fundamentally all the work on this subject rests on the quantitative determination of prothrombin. Four years ago I described a method for this determination (J. Biol. Chem.109: lxxiii [May] 1935) and showed that the prothrombin was normal in amount in hemophilia but reduced in a certain number of jaundiced patients. This method subsequently proved itself to be a sensitive test in all known hemorrhagic diseases characterized by a diminution of prothrombin. Because of its simplicity the test has been widely used clinically and, judging from the reports in the literature, has been found quite satisfactory. In a recent paper Drs. Scanlon, Brinkhous, Warner, Smith and Flynn (The Journal May 13, 1939, p. 1898) call attention to a new bedside test for determining prothrombin

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