Boxes of dried plasma and equipment being loaded into a van

Boxes of dried plasma and giving sets being loaded on to a lorry for transport to where required. The outbreak of World War Two had prompted work investigating the division of blood into its constituent parts, because whole blood was difficult to transport to overseas battlefields. Plasma is the fluid in the blood containing proteins that help blood to clot. Liquid plasma, though more efficient to transport than whole blood, was similarly difficult to convey to battle and administer in the field. Dried plasma was introduced, with the benefits of stability, more economical storage and transportation, and ease of preparation. The “dried plasma sets” packed and despatched overseas consisted of a bottle of dried plasma, a tin box containing sterile giving set, and a bottle of sterile water. It took minutes for the dried plasma to be adequately dissolved in the water; concentrated plasma could be obtained by adding less distilled water.




World War Two (1939 - 1945)


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