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February 21, 1948


JAMA. 1948;136(8):557-558. doi:10.1001/jama.1948.02890250045013

Since adequate amounts of pooled human plasma were readily available for the treatment of traumatic shock during World War II, research in the development of suitable substitutes was not extensive. Plasma was employed on a large scale; at first hazards were not anticipated with its parenteral administration in contrast to those associated with the various substitutes, such as acacia, pectin, polyvinyl alcohol, methyl cellulose, gelatin and cattle plasma. However, the mounting evidence that infectious hepatitis is transmitted not infrequently by pooled plasma definitely contraindicates any indiscriminate therapeutic use of this agent. The relatively high cost of human plasma, moreover, is a deterrent when large amounts are required for diuretic purposes in the treatment of nephrosis.

Colloidal plasma substitutes have retained a limited position in the medical armamentarium despite the objectionable properties which they display, especially when injected repeatedly in large amounts.1 The recent report of Mannix2 on a