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May 1960

A Critical Assessment of the Use of Blood Transfusions During Major Gastric Operations

Author Affiliations

Dallas, Texas
From the Department of Surgery, University of Texas Southwestern Medical School.

AMA Arch Surg. 1960;80(5):760-767. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1960.01290220052008

The value of whole blood transfusions in making safer some surgical procedures and in extending the operability of certain lesions is established in surgical literature and verified by every surgeon's personal experience. This favorable experience may have led to a current practice of using blood transfusions without discrimination. Also effective in perpetuating the indiscriminate use of blood transfusions are some unquestioned dogmas that reappear in surgical literature year after year. Critical evidence in support of some of these clichés is glaringly in want. We wish to examine critically some of these canons, and their implied assumptions, which give authority to disregard the harm and to respect only the benefit that may be expected from the transfusion of 5,000,000 pints of whole blood in this country in one year. Certain authors are quoted because their statements are succinct and often repeated. We do not know whether these men still hold valid

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