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.
Voelker R. Hemochromatosis Patients Are Untapped Source of Blood as War, Shortages Loom. JAMA. 2003;289(11):1364-1366. doi:10.1001/jama.289.11.1364