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Elmer L. DeGowin, M.D.
JAMA. 1937;108(4):296-297. doi:10.1001/jama.1937.92780040002010a.
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Since the blood of group O contains no agglutinogens, Ottenberg1 in 1911 proposed the use of individuals of this group as "universal donors." It was thought that the agglutinins α and β would be sufficiently diluted in the recipient's serum as to be ineffectual.

The practice of transfusing group O blood into individuals of other groups has become fairly common, although many writers have warned against it. Copher2 stated that the use of the "universal donor" was dangerous. Levine and Mabee3 studied the blood of one individual belonging to group O whose serum agglutinated the corpuscles of group A in a dilution of 1:120. Freeman and Whitehouse4 found a group O blood the α agglutinin of which was active in a dilution of 1:80. The β agglutinin reacted in a dilution of 1:48. Neither of these bloods was actually used for transfusions. Thomsen5


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