Numerous publications1 have established that human blood, plasma or serum may harbor the agent of infectious hepatitis. This agent, believed to be a virus, has been the cause of hepatitis in recipients of human blood and plasma.2 Because of the prolonged incubation period—two to six months—the relationship between administration of blood or plasma and the subsequent development of hepatitis is frequently overlooked.
It is easy to exclude blood donors with a history of jaundice or hepatitis and to discard blood specimens showing hyperbilirubinemia. Unfortunately, however, many persons may be unknowingly infected, for many cases of hepatitis occur without the development of typical symptoms and signs and thus pass undiagnosed. Furthermore, the virus may be present in the blood stream of the infected person for weeks before and after the acute episode of hepatitis. It is clear that administration of human blood or plasma carries with it a potential
WOLF AM, MASON J, FITZPATRICK WJ, SCHWARTZ SO, LEVINSON SO. ULTRAVIOLET IRRADIATION OF HUMAN PLASMA TO CONTROL HOMOLOGOUS SERUM JAUNDICE. JAMA. 1947;135(8):476–477. doi:10.1001/jama.1947.02890080006003
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