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April 1983

60 YEARS AGO IN THE AJDCTransfusion Through the Umbilical Vein in Hemorrhage of the New-born

Am J Dis Child. 1983;137(4):382. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1983.02140300060016

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Blood transfusions for hemorrhagic disease of the new-born had first been performed in 1908. They were often administered subcutaneously because venous and arterial routes were difficult. The superior longitudinal sinus was used only for withdrawal of blood. Citrated blood was first used in 1915. The author performed the first transfusion through the umbilical vein in 1919. This baby described here had bled after a dorsal slit of the foreskin, losing an estimated 4 to 5 ounces of blood. The baby was brought to the hospital in poor condition. Transfusion was then delayed eight hours while the mother was brought to the hospital. The cord was kept moist with boric acid solution. For transfusions, the stump was cut short, and a needle was introduced directly. Blood taken in 20-cc amounts from the mother's arm was injected into the baby. A total of 100 cc was given.