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Wednesday, 3 June 1970

Mr Barnard asked the Minister for the Army, upon notice:

What methods are used to give infusions of blood, plasma and glucose to casualties in the field or on stretchers while being transported.

Mr Peacock - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

Intravenous infusion is achieved by inserting a needle, cannula or catheter into a vein. Techniques would vary in detail only.

Whole blood is not used in the field because it cannot be stored without refrigeration and there are not facilities for grouping and cross matching.

Plasma and serum (plasma from which figrinogen has been removed) are not generally used for infusion because of the danger of transmittingthe virus responsible for homologous serum jaundice. Consequently plasma fractions such as albumin and stable plasma protein solution are used in their stead.

Glucose provides fluid and energy but no electrolytes and therefore is not generally used in the field. Ringers lactate solution, which provides fluid and electrolytes, is preferred.

Fluids are also administered by injection, including sub cutaneous injection, stomach tube and per rectum.

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