Blood transfusion for the treatment of severe injury grew up and came of age in wartime, and methods of providing and using large quantities of stored blood for the care of mass casualties were painfully developed by the armed forces of the United States and other countries. In World War II the British Army established a transfusion service in support of their forces in North Africa, and the U. S. Army organized a similar service in Italy. Both of these systems were self-sufficient with regard to donors. It was not until 1944, after the invasion of northern Europe, that blood collected in the United States was flown into the combat zone. Meanwhile an important change had taken place: the surgeons in the combat zone had learned to use blood and to rely on it in the treatment of severely wounded battle casualties. In North Africa one unit of whole blood
Akeroyd JH, Crosby WH. A PLAN TO MAKE AVAILABLE MORE BLOOD IN CASE OF WAR OR DISASTER. JAMA. 1955;159(5):424–426. doi:10.1001/jama.1955.02960220014005
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