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September 6, 1952


Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Harrison Department of Surgical Research, University of Pennsylvania.

JAMA. 1952;150(1):10-13. doi:10.1001/jama.1952.03680010016004

There is no substitute for blood. Medical officers in World War II who had sufficient amounts of blood and plasma available used four times as much blood as plasma in patients with a deficiency of blood volume. At present, there is no substance available that can assume the many functions that a good preparation of whole blood is now known to have. Interest in substances that act as poor substitutes for blood or as satisfactory substitutes for plasma occurs periodically during times of impending national emergency. The problem of whole blood and plasma logistics for our military forces as well as for our civilian population will be an extremely difficult one in the event major atomic disasters occur as a part of war. Our hope for preventing and combating shock in the great multitude of casualties that will inevitably follow such a disaster lies in plasma expanders, which are capable