Abstracts of Papers Read Before Branches.
The Modern Treatment of Surgical Shock and War
Injuries by Transfusion of Blood.
(Delivered to the Wellington Branch of the Royal Society of New Zealand, 28/6/41.)
Up to 1914 there was no known method of preventing blood clotting, but in that year it was discovered that the addition of sodium citrate to blood would prevent clotting. Blood transfusion then became a practical proposition, and after the last war it began to be used in civil practice. With the outbreak of the present war, it was realised that blood transfusion was useful for more than exsanguinated cases, that it was invaluable in all cases of shock, and many war casualties were cases of shock, very often without any external wound or evidence of loss of blood. In clinical shock, blood could be lost into the capillary system particularly of the abdomen, the capillaries dilating and acting like a sponge. The blood therein loses its oxygen and the tissues are asphyxiated, the blood pressure falls and the heart-beat slackens. The blood plasma passes out of the vascular system into the tissues.
In performing blood transfusions for the alleviation of shock, blood plasma or blood serum may be given directly without any reference to blood grouping, but if whole blood is administered the blood groups of the donor and the recipient must be compatible. Transfusion of blood of an incompatible group caused intensive toxic reaction, and even death. This toxic reaction was due to the presence of the free pigment hæmoglobin in the blood. In blood plasma and serum the free pigment had been removed, and so there was no danger of complications.
Whole blood will keep in a refrigerator for 14 days, plasma for six to eight weeks, and serum can be kept at ordinary temperatures for 12 months. Dried plasma will keep indefinitely. It is reconstituted with distilled water.
A normal person has about 11 pints of blood in his body, of which about 9 pints is in active circulation, It is safe to draw off one pint.
In cases of shock the volume of circulating blood was lessened. The performance of a blood transfusion restored the balance.
As all papers are in the process of publication, titles and medium of publication only are given:—
“Inheritance of Vivipary in Phormium,” H. H. Allan, D.Sc., M.A., F.L.S., F.R.S.N.Z., and Lucy M. Cranwell, M.A., F.L.S.
“Keys to the Pollen Grains of the N.Z. Flora,” Lucy M. Cranwell, M.A., F.L.S.
Both to be published in Records of the Auckland Institute and Museum, vol. 2 pt. 6.
“The New Zealand Recent and Fossil Mollusca of the Family Turridæ: With General Notes On Torrid Nomenclature and
Systematics.” To be published shortly as Bulletin No. 2, Auckland Institute and Museum.
Changing New Zealand Landscape.
In a lecture based on his paper on “Changing New Zealand Landscape,” Mr. Kenneth B. Cumberland developed Huxley's thesis of the vastly accelerated rate at which Man in 500 years had altered Nature's biological balance as much as in the previous 5,000,000. In New Zealand, it might be said that the same had been done in the last 100 years; the indigenous vegetation had been largely ousted, and only partially replaced with exotics, with incidentally an appalling waste. Commencing in the late eighteenth century, when it might be assumed New Zealand was 54% forest, Mr. Cumberland developed in detail the successive periods and nature of this cumulative alteration of New Zealand's landscape, and illustrated with slides some disastrous results of destructive exploitation of the land.
Chlorophyll Mutants in Hexaploid Wheat and
Their Mode of Origin.
A chlorophyll defect in wheat, “virescent striping,” found in an F5 family from the cross, Tuscan × White Fife, is due to three independent recessive genes (S1 S2 S3). Both parents to the cross are dominant for all three genes, as in an unrelated variety, Hunters. The possible modes of origin of the mutant were discussed, the literature of polymerous mutants in polyploids reviewed, and further proposed work was indicated.
Winter Distribution of Three Species of Sub-Antarctic
Dr. Falla exhibited specimens of three crested penguins of the genus Eudyptes, pointing out that the specific characters by which they could be distinguished were in the pattern of head and neck. Dealing mainly with the Big-Crested Penguin, he described the annual cycle of arrival at a breeding place (Bounty Island) in September, laying in October, young able to swim by February, moulting in March, and leaving the island.
The Big-Crested Penguin's winter destination was regarded as unknown in 1930; but since then, records have been more carefully collected and the menace of waste oil from ships has forced an abnormal number of birds ashore dead, or in an effort to clean themselves. The records show large numbers from Cook Strait north to Gisborne and south to Banks Peninsula. At Otago Peninsula, actually nearer to Bounty Islands, they are rare. The evidence suggests a concentration of the migratory movement in a north-westerly direction for some 500 miles, between March and September.
From the little that is known of the range of Tufted Penguins (from Antipodes and Campbell Islands) a similar movement is indicated.