A woman bleeding into a baboon makes startling news. Not even science-fiction writers predieted the event, nor did they envisage the circumstance under which it might take place. Yet, both the hemorrhage (is it external or internal?) and the woman-baboon cross-circulation during which it occurred have now been documented, adding a new twist to exploitation of animal by man.
Bosman and his co-workers1 report from Cape Town, South Africa their first successful cross-circulation between an intact living baboon and a 29-year-old woman in terminal hepatic coma secondary to infectious hepatitis. The patient was moribund, having failed to regain spontaneous respiration after multiple exchange transfusions. Emboldened by previous experiments, in which it had been shown that the baboon can tolerate complete exchange transfusions with human blood, these investigators replaced the animal's blood with human blood compatible with that of the patient. They then established cross-circulation, which lasted several hours and