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October 14, 1939


JAMA. 1939;113(16):1475-1478. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.02800410025006

For the past two years the medical profession has been extremely interested in blood banks. The casual reader would be led to believe that this work had been only recently developed. A carefully prepared bibliography, however, shows that the subject of blood banks was first described in 1918 by Oswald H. Robertson,1 then of the United States Army. The experimental basis for his work was originated by Rous and Turner,2 affiliated with the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research. Dr. Robertson's1 original article advocated the use of a preserving fluid consisting of 5.4 per cent dextrose combined with 3.8 per cent sodium citrate. In a personal communication dated October 1938, Dr. Robertson still favors this use of sugar and citrate as a preservative.

Rous and Turner2 determined the viability of preserved blood cells by means of transfusion of these cells in bulk. Rabbits were used for this