May 25, 1949
Dr. G. E. Burch
Department of Medicine
The Tulane University of Louisiana
New Orleans 13, Louisiana
Dear Dr. Burch:
I am very pleased to have your letter of May 20. I have talked with Dr. Harvey Itano
about the details of the method of sending us sickle cell anemia blood, and our suggestions
are presented below.
We would like to have two or three units of, if possible, as large as 100 cc. of sickle
cell anemia blood as soon as they can conveniently be sent, in order that some preliminary
tests of the methods to be used in further investigations could be made. Then we
would like to have a larger quantity, as close to 1000 cc. as possible, for the next
stage of the investigation. The individual units that would be pooled to make this
larger quantity could be sent on to us when they are collected, and stored by us until
the pool can be made. We are planning to make electrophoretic tests of the units
from separate patients before pooling these units. Could you also identify the patients
from whom the units are taken, in case that we find some interesting abnormality.
We suggest that the units could be shipped to us is small vacuum bottles, probably
the one-half pint size. Any effective anti-coagulent could be added to the blood.
It might be worth while to dilute the blood with normal saline solution to a volume
such as to fill the bottle leaving only a little extra air space, and I suppose that
it would be desirable to tape the stopper in the bottle, in order to avoid possible
loss through expulsion of the stopper at high altitude. The bottles and the contents
could be chilled shortly before packing and shipping by Air Express.
I suggest that you telegraph us collect when a shipment is to be made, giving, if
possible, the number of the flight. It would be all right for the shipments to reach
us on any weekday, but probably not on Sunday.
If it is not extra trouble for you would you purchase a supply of the Thermos bottles,
and submit the bill to us for reimbursement, along with a statement of other expenses
involved in the collection and shipping of the blood.
We are so well pleased with the results of our sickle cell disease that we would like
to make some similar studies on other abnormalities of
Dr. Burch -2- 5/25/49
the red cells, in case that we could obtain material. Would you keep on the lookout
for patients with ovalocytosis, and also for patients with Mediterranean anemia, and
collect samples of blood from these patients for our studies? We are planning to
extend our studies of abnormal hemoglobin to include magnetic investigations and other
special types of physical-chemical investigations.
I am hoping to be able to see you next Tuesday. We are grateful to you for assisting
with our problem - we have had great trouble in getting sufficient sickle cell anemic
blood locally to permit our work to go on at a suitable rate.