Film: 5230

Medicine | 1960 | Sound | B/W


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The treatment of blood diseases at the Queen Charlotte's Hospital for Children and babies 1960's

This film, was possibly intended for medical students, explains in considerable technical detail the Rhesus Negative syndrome and how it might affect newborn babies.

The film is introduced as taking place at Queen Charlotte’s Hospital, Chelsea, London. The Director of Research describes his findings. He explains that a newborn baby can be found to have damaged blood but that this can be replaced by fresh blood, which enables it to overcome the first dangerous stage of like until it is capable of producing normal blood of its own. He asks why it is necessary to replace the blood and how damaged it is. He compares the transfusion to immunisation where it is possible to protect a patient against polio or diphtheria. It is an important part of the defence against infection. Anything “foreign” in a body such as a disease gets in under the skin. The body makes substances to destroy it, so you do not get measles twice. Substances called antibodies are the first line of defence against infection. We can hardly survive without them yet sometimes they can work against us. A baby can be born with blood already attacked by antibodies and therefore must have an exchange transfusion.

He goes on to explain in detail the process required to save these babies’ lives. He uses drawings, animations and interviews with a mother to make the situation clearer and there are views of a baby receiving the transfusion.

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