Hematology: Heating Up the Blood

Of the 2,000,000 or more Americans who get transfusions every year, too many die on the operating table, and some as the result of a medical mistake. Surgeons and anesthesiologists, who are cautious about matching blood groups, have been ignoring the fundamental fact that circulating blood is warm; they have been pouring refrigerated blood into their patients' veins.

A single pint or two of blood that has been kept chilled to 40° F. to keep its red cells from deteriorating might do no harm. And it is usually out of the icebox long enough to warm up a little...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!