It's in the Blood! A Documentary History of Linus Pauling, Hemoglobin and Sickle Cell Anemia All Documents and Media  
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Letter from George Burch to Linus Pauling. May 20, 1949.
Burch writes to clarify several points regarding Pauling's request for sickle cell blood. Burch specifically wishes to know more about the quantities of blood required and the method by which the blood should be shipped from New Orleans to Pasadena. [Courtesy, National Library of Medicine]





May 20, 1949

Dear Dr. Pauling:

I have your letter of May 10 concerning additional sickle cell anemia blood. There are several points that are not clear.

Do you wish 1000 cc. sent at one time or would, it be satisfactory to send units of 100 cc. as the patients appear in the hospital? What is the smallest unit which would be satisfactory for your work? As you know, some of these patients are children and are suffering from anemia, making it therefore impossible to bleed them too much at one time.

How should this be shipped? Do you have containers which you can send to us or should we purchase a certain type ourselves? Must the blood be stored in a cool atmosphere or will the temperatures which might be encountered on an airplane alter the blood unduly? The answers to these and other questions which might come to your mind would be helpful before we begin shipments. We could send the blood via Air Express, which would put it in your hands early the next morning, if it left New Orleans around noon. Are there any times when you wish to receive the shipments and other times when it would not be advisable, such as on weekends or holidays?

I have already discussed this problem with other members of the Department, and I am sure we can supply you with shipments of blood. We shall look through our files to find the patients with active sickle cell anemia in New Orleans and call them in for donations.

I am certainly happy to know that your work is going along so nicely and surely we would like to do anything we can to help this project. As soon as we have the answers to the above questions, I will see that shipments begin immediately. Best wishes to you and Mrs. Pauling and your family.

Yours sincerely,

G. E. BURCH, M. D.


Dr. Linus Pauling

California Institute of Technology

Pasadena 4, California

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