Dr. Charles E. Huggins, who revolutionized blood storage with his discovery of a method of freezing blood, has died. He was 60.
Huggins died Wednesday at his home in Boston of cancer of the pancreas.
A surgeon at Massachusetts General Hospital, Huggins developed the blood-freezing technique in 1963. By adding glycerol to red blood cells, doctors were able to thaw frozen blood without destroying the cells.
Huggins also invented the cytoglomerator, an apparatus that allowed physicians to store frozen blood indefinitely. It also let elective surgery patients store their own blood for use in surgery, a practice virtually eliminating the possibility of contracting AIDS and hepatitis from blood transfusions.