Few young people today can imagine the conditions under which research was done in the years following the Second World War—the lack of facilities and of scientific contact, and the somewhat limited horizons of the times. The computer had not been invented, there were no plastic tubes or trays, and there was no photocopier down the hall. The immunohematology laboratory where one of us (J.D.) began working was in the basement of the Regional Transfusion Center in Paris, and his bench was an ordinary kitchen table. The work was oriented toward the serology of red blood cells—only the ABO, Rhesus, and MN groups were generally recognized for transfusion matching, and the major research theme of the period was concerned with hemolytic diseases in the newborn. Exchange transfusion had only recently been introduced, and was being practiced daily, not only in newborn babies but also in adults in the fight against anuria following septicemia perfringens, which resulted from voluntary abortion in the absence of antibiotics. This was his first contact with renal failure, which was later to become one of our major preoccupations.
KeywordsBurning Sedimentation Explosive Expense Dextran
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