Medicine: Red, White & Platelets

Every day in countless U.S. hospitals a doctor wants to infuse red blood cells into the veins of an anemic patient. So he takes a pint or more of whole blood and lets it stand. After a while, the red cells (40% of the total) settle to the bottom, along with dead white cells and platelets. A technician draws off the plasma and throws it away. At the same moment, possibly in a hospital across the street, another doctor wants to give plasma to a victim of burns or surgical shock. To save time,...

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