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The Significance of Dr Fantus' Report

Byron A. Myhre, MD, PhD
JAMA. 1984;251(5):650-652. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03340290064024.
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History of Previous Transfusion Therapy  With the usual availability of adequate amounts and types of blood that we encounter today, it is hard to visualize the difficulty that faced physicians wishing to transfuse before World War II. The account by Louis Diamond1 chronicles how between the years of 1667 and 1937, the major accent in transfusion therapy was direct transfusion from donor to recipient, usually using some type of arteriovenous anastomosis,2,3 a pump for direct transfusion,4 multiple syringes,5 various stopcocksyringe devices,6 or, occasionally, a paraffin-lined flask7 to hold the blood temporarily. No anticoagulant was used, the blood was not stored, all transfusions required the immediate availability of the donor, and the donor had to be bled in the proximity of the patient (often in an operating room). For these reasons, almost all transfusions were elective and given for chronic loss or decreased production of


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