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Medical News and Perspectives
March 19, 2003

Hemochromatosis Patients Are Untapped Source of Blood as War, Shortages Loom

JAMA. 2003;289(11):1364-1366. doi:10.1001/jama.289.11.1364

With US forces poised for war in Iraq and blood shortages at critical levels in some areas of the United States, a national advocacy group wants to ensure that thousands or possibly millions of units of perfectly safe donated blood are not wasted.

The Lake Mary, Fla–based American Hemochromatosis Society (AHS) is asking Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson to ease regulations on the use of donated blood from people with hereditary hemochromatosis, often called "iron overload" disease. Specifically, the AHS wants Thompson to direct the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to allow all blood banks in the United States to accept hemochromatotic blood from otherwise suitable donors without having to label it as such.

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