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Editorials |

Blood Transfusion : First, Do No Harm!

Howard L. Corwin, MD, FCCP
Author and Funding Information

Affiliations: Lebanon, NH 
 ,  Dr. Corwin is Section Chief, Critical Care Medicine, Medical Director, Intensive Care Unit, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. Dr. Corwin receives research support from Ortho Biotech.

Correspondence to: Howard L. Corwin, MD, FCCP, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, One Medical Center Dr, Lebanon, NH 03756–001; e-mail: howard.1.corwin@hitchcock.org



Chest. 1999;116(5):1149-1150. doi:10.1378/chest.116.5.1149
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Extract

The earliest documented blood transfusions date back to the mid-17th century.1 However, it was not until the early part of the 20th century that blood transfusion became a mainstay of clinical practice. The value of blood transfusion was essentially unchallenged throughout most of this century. Blood transfusion was looked on as relatively risk free, with benefits so obvious as to make surgery with levels < 10 g/dL unthinkable. It was not until the early 1980s that our transfusion practices began to come under systematic scrutiny.24


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