Reviews; January 1999; Scientific American Magazine; by Panosian, staff editors; 3 Page(s)
Ask any medical student. The first time you watch those maroon globules of life-giving sap drip solemnly from plastic pouch through translucent IV tubing and merge with the tide of native cells flowing through your anemic patient's depleted veins, it is a holy moment. "For the life of the flesh is in the blood," writes the Old Testament author of Leviticus. To a physician, infusing whole blood or one of its components into an ill or injured person is an act of incredible power...and seduction.
The power is undeniable, even to the medically naive. "Type and cross, stat!" is the cry that thunders through trauma centers, Ers and operating rooms throughout our land, whether they be real or the mock variety depicted weekly on network television.