The name given to a group of polysaccharides ﬁrst discovered in sugar-beet preparations which had become infected with certain bacteria. A homogenous preparation of dextran, with a consistent molecular weight and free from PROTEIN, is in appropriate clinical circumstances used as a substitute for plasma for TRANSFUSION purposes. Dextran is often used as an immediate transfusion measure to treat severe bleeding or certain types of shock until properly cross-matched blood is available. A blood sample for cross-matching must be taken before intravenous dextran is given.
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