Letter Re: Blood Transfusion Equipment Available

I am a fan of your work and am glad that you are now doing a regular blog. I found something that might be of interest to your readers while going through my regular slew of catalogues in the mail today. I remember reading in your novel Patriots about how one of the characters jerry-rigged a person-to-person blood transfusion setup. I noticed that Deutche Optik, a militaria surplus dealer, is carrying a new in the box German surplus person-to-person blood transfusion device. I went ahead and ordered one, on the off chance I may need it one day and have someone around who is medically qualified. Here’s the description:
Blood Transfusion Device “Assa” [NS011] $45.00 (Very Limited Availability) Yeah… we know! Sounds bizarre and macabre, but a damned useful, brand-new, 25ccm instrument. As the German description states: for the use of blood transfusions from vein to vein; infusion and extraction of fluids from body cavities (pleuritis exsudativa); irrigation of serious, bloody and septic joint injuries. Gorgeous tool. 200° C glass with nickel-plated syringes and hardware. Surgical rubber tubing enclosed. 7.5”

Just in case some SurvivalBlog readers might be interested. – D.H.

JWR Replies: I do not recommend person-to-person transfusions, except as a last resort. Under the stress of an emergency surgery, it is too easy to lose track of time and the next thing you know, you have two patients! It doesn’t take that much longer to draw blood from a type-matched donor into sterile packs and then transfuse by gravity from those packs. Proviso: Don’t attempt any sort of transfusion unless it is a dire emergency and until you’ve been taught the proper techniques by an M.D. or other medical professional. (BTW, a phlebotomist or surgical nurse with regular daily experience is probably the best teacher for how to find a vein and set up a Luer lock. A lot of non-surgical docs tend to get a bit rusty.) Blood typing and all of other typical precautions (for shock, embolism, etc.) must also be observed. In the absence of other equipment, one of these Deutche Optik kits would suffice.