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December 22/29, 1999

Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies and the US Blood Supply

Author Affiliations

Phil B.FontanarosaMD, Interim CoeditorIndividualAuthorMargaret A.WinkerMD, Deputy EditorIndividualAuthorStephenLurieMD PhD, Fishbein FellowIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 1999;282(24):2301-2302. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-282-24-jbk1222

To the Editor: I am writing to express the concern of the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB) about a Medical News & Perspectives article regarding transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) and the US blood supply.1 Unsubstantiated statements such as " . . . guardians of the blood supply were slow to react . . . ," " . . . public health leaders are flying blind on TSEs . . . ," and " . . . do-nothing policies that could someday see thousands facing horrific deaths from these mysterious diseases" are, in our opinion, both speculative and sensational. We believe these statements damage the hard work of the AABB and the entire medical community in ensuring the safety of the blood supply and patient care in general.

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