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Prevention of Serum Hepatitis

Merrill J. Wicks, MD
JAMA. 1963;186(4):439. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.03710040165019.
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To the Editor:  —The editorial in the Sept 28 issue of The Journal (185:1037), entitled "Prevention of High Fatality Rate in Serum Hepatitis," is timely and merits comment.We may commend the emphasis therein on the prevention of clinical hepatitis after the infusion of blood products. However, the production logistics as well as costs of such a program are understandably immense, rendering it logically impractical at present, even with the increasing use of plasmapheresis and fractionation from placentas. Also I could not agree more with the statement in the editorial that "blood transfusion should be given only when that need also is vital." However, a third aspect, which is often neglected by the attending physician, was not mentioned, namely, policing of the donor population in the blood bank.The major epidemiological problem of serum hepatitis is certainly and fundamentally that of eliminating the carrier who has been motivated to


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