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March 1953


AMA Arch Surg. 1953;66(3):265-266. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1953.01260030280001

SINCE the advent of blood transfusion as an integral procedure in our therapeutic armamentarium, there has been a constant search for a method of preservation which would permit the prolonged storage of blood and its constituents. Application of the rapid freeze-dehydration principle solved the problem of preserving plasma, and stockpiling of this important fluid has been practiced since the early days of World War II.

Unfortunately, up to the present time, it has been impossible to preserve the cellular elements of the blood beyond a time period of three to four weeks. Consequently, because of the perishable nature of the red blood cell, the operation of our present day blood banks resembles more closely that of the fresh vegetable market than it does its monetary equivalent. This not only has been a definite handicap to maintaining a constant supply of blood during peacetime but has made the stockpiling of red