Article #5: Blood Transfusions by Dr. Herbert M. Shelton
We have received numerous requests for information about blood transfusions, blood banks (or, as, one correspondent called them "bloody banks"), and the desirability of donating blood to the sick and wounded. All this curiosity has been aroused by the frequent calls for blood and the many stories carried by the press of the great good accomplished by transfusions and by the use of the blood banks.
Our readers, despite the information they possess, are still very susceptible to voodooism's propaganda. If the propaganda is persistent enough, or repeated often enough, or if its claims are great enough, they think there may be more to it than there is to other forms of propaganda.
That blood-transfusing is a hoax and a swindle; that it is only an expensive and dramatic piece of grand-stand play by voodooism's white-robed priests; that it is a damaging and often fatal procedure, have been known for years; yet our readers seem to think there may be good in it.
On the other side of the picture, one of our readers in Rochester sent us what he calls a "good one." He tells us that "the Red Cross is making its rounds in the Rochester industries to replenish its blood bank—or should I call it, its bloody bank? It has just completed its stay at Eastman Kodak Company, Rochester's largest industry. Pressure was put upon all the workers to donate of their substance.
"Here is the procedure: A pint of blood is taken from the arm of each worker. After that, each one is ushered into a sort of traveling cafeteria. The worker is now given a treat for his donation. The treat is supposed to help him recover from his loss of blood. And here it is:
"Sandwiches of white bread and baloney or cheese or peanut butter, coffee, tea, or milk (pasteurized) with white sugar cookies—cigarettes—a shot of liquor!!
"These same blood donors (or suckers) are expected to give a new transfusion within two months. Perhaps the above offerings ought to make this entirely possible. Viva La Red Cross!"
The Red Cross, which is the left hand of the Medical Trust, may always be counted on to build up the blood of its victims with good white bread, spoiled meat, coffee, good white sugar, pasteurized milk, cigarettes, and booze. When the present world madness has ended and the world is being reorganized in a way to prevent its (mis)leaders from creating another hell on earth, the Red Cross must be sent to the same oblivion to which political organizations will go. The Red Cross must be punished by forcing it to spend eternity in the same padded cell with the A.M.A. Who was it dubbed the old harlot, "The Greatest Mother of Them All"?
The present vogue is to transfuse as often as possible and, if this does not result in death, credit the transfusion with recovery. Every recovery following transfusion is attributed to the transfusion. If the patient "fails to rally" and dies, this is due to other causes.
Deaths following transfusions are more frequent than the public is aware of and, while it is positive that the transfusions do often kill outright, there is no unquestionable proof that they ever save a life, or, even that they ever result in positive good.
Apparent successful results of transfusions are usually played up for the public, while the evident failures and damages are not given any great flare of publicity. Front page space is for the spectacular.
Blood transfusions were first made from animals. Later human blood was used. At first the blood was caught in a funnel as it spurted from the artery of the donor and sent through a tube into the veins of the patient. Later a method was devised that conveyed the blood directly from the donor's artery to the vein of the receiver. Still later, instead of direct transfusions, "blood banks" were made by taking the blood, mixing it with an anti-clotting chemical and storing it until used. The latest development is that of "blood dust." The blood plasma is dried in huge sausage skins and stored or shipped. Later this dust is mixed with distilled water and pumped into the veins. Or, if distilled water is unavailable, the unopened skins are immersed in ordinary water. The water passes through the skins, which filter out foreign matters from the water. Enough water passes through the skins to create a fluid "plasma."
It should be recognized that the introduction of the blood of one individual into the body of another is the introduction, therein, of a foreign serum. True, it is human serum and, therefore, theoretically at least, should not produce the symptoms or reactions of serum poisoning—anaphylaxis. Actually, however, it does this very thing as we shall show often adding a few symptoms that are missing from serum poisoning.
Let me list the symptoms and evils which follow transfusions as given by these great surgeons—chills, nausea, vomiting, muscular pains, dyspnea (difficult breathing), cyanosis (blueness due to heart and circulatory difficulties), urticaria (nettle rash), headache, fatal hemolysis, (breaking up of the red blood cells), spasm of the un-striated (involuntary) muscles, asthmatic symptoms in the lungs, involuntary voiding of the urine and of the feces, acute edema (dropsical accumulation) of the lungs, hemorrhage, embolism (blood clot), and death. Hemolysis may occur without going far enough to result fatally. Some of these surgeons are convinced that in some conditions in which transfusions are employed, generally, those patients who receive the transfusion "will die sooner than those without."
"Fatal anaphylaxis following blood transfusions," "the deaths following usually in a few hours after transfusion" and occurring often in cases where "previous study of the blood had shown that they were entirely satisfactory," should convince everyone that blood shown to be "entirely satisfactory" is not really satisfactory. I am sure that no blood would satisfy me which would kill me in a few hours, or, even in a few days.
The damages to the body listed above, as resulting from transfusions may seem to the reader to be enough. Yet there is no reason to doubt that all the tissue damages throughout the body, which result from all serums (foreign proteins), or serum sickness, also result from blood transfusion. The above-listed damages and symptoms are only the most prominent and most important ones among those that have been studied.
Does it not seem a bit strange that a patient who is very low, who perhaps, is thought to be almost at the point of death, and is fighting desperately with the little remaining strength which he has, should be subjected to such damaging, and deadly treatment? It is stranger still when we consider that the authorities themselves consider it to be valueless in most of the conditions in which they employ it and are hopelessly divided in their opinions about which conditions it is, or may be, of limited value in occasional cases.
Dr. Peterson is evidently correct when he says that "a procedure which lends itself so readily to commercial exploitation is apt to come in for a certain amount of abuse."
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