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November 29, 1958


Author Affiliations

Chicago; Washington, D. C.; Chicago

From the William H. Danforth Laboratory for Research in Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Chicago (Drs. Sayman and Allen), the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (Dr. Gauld), and the National Opinion Research Center, University of Chicago (Dr. Star).

JAMA. 1958;168(13):1735-1739. doi:10.1001/jama.1958.03000130001001

Plasma was compared with whole blood with respect to the frequency of hepatitis after transfusion. The data represent more than 15 years of experience with a blood bank; the three categories of patients successfully followed up numbered 433 (plasma only), 1,242 (plasma plus blood), and 2,343 (blood only). Each plasma pool represented about 28 to 30 donors. After being tested for bacteriological contamination the plasma was stored in the fluid state for about six months in a room where the temperature ranged from 76 to 96 F (24.4 to 35.5 C) and averaged 89 F (31.6 C). The findings clearly showed that there is very little chance of serum hepatitis in a patient receiving pooled plasma stored for six months under these conditions, for there was not a single case of hepatitis among 305 patients who survived 180 days or longer after transfusions of plasma representing 12,345 donors. The incidence of hepatitis among patients who had received both plasma and whole blood was attributable solely to the whole blood. Plasma stored at lower temperatures than those recommended can transmit hepatitis despite a seven-month period of storage. Daily temperature records of the storage-space are therefore an essential feature of the procedure here advocated.