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Word Count: 1,115
THE RED CROSS REPORTS BLOOD BANKS ARE SAFER THAN EVER As spokesperson for the American Red Cross I would like to address the publics rapidly growing concern over our nations blood supply The population of our country must abate their fears regarding contamination of our blood supply from the AIDS virus and hepatitis Since the early nineteenth century the United States has used intravenous administration from a donor to a recipient for blood transfusions The Red Cross prerequisites for safeguarded and reliable blood transfusions involves knowledge of donor screening and selection and most importantly testing for the presence of antibodies for AIDS and testing for retroviral infections specifically Hepatitis B Initially safety in blood transfusions translates into highly effective donor screening and selection as well as pretransfusion testing for the presence of transmissible and infectious diseases in the donors blood Today blood transfusions are one of medicines safest procedures in comparison to Americans dying from Salmonella in bad chicken or complications from a general anesthesia Blood Supply Safer 16 Likewise the United States volunteer blood collection program lowers the likelihood of infected donors Epidemiologists recognize high-risk groups at blood banks secluding them which enables their collections to be separately tested Measures to Protect Blood Supply 31 A precaution for all blood donors limits donation frequency to five times a year which is equivalent to 480 ml or one pint of blood every eight weeks preventing the increased incidence of iron deficiencies Encarta 96 The Red Cross collects all blood into sterile bags containing anticoagulants and preservative nutrients to prevent contamination with additional samples sent for stringent control testing At the present time their is no conclusive synthetic replacement for blood or red blood cells therefore the compatibility of antigens RH factors antibodies and disease free transfused blood does and will continue to ensure high survival rates The
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