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January 10, 1986

Potential Liability for Transfusion-Associated AIDS

Author Affiliations

American Red Cross Vermont-New Hampshire Region Burlington, Vt

JAMA. 1986;255(2):195. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03370020037011

To theEditor.—  The SPECIAL COMMUNICATION by Miller et al1 on potential liability for transfusion-associated acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) deserves several comments. I would like to address one of them. Twice the authors make a recommendation concerning "directed donations" implying that they are safer than usual volunteer blood and that acceptance of them reduces liability for blood banks and physicians with regard to transfusion-associated AIDS. Although the second point seems to follow from the first, there are grave concerns with the premises underlying the first that need to be addressed.Virtually the entire blood banking community, including the American Red Cross, the American Association of Blood Banks, and the Council of Community Blood Centers, have gone on record as being opposed to directed donations, that is, blood donated specifically by friends and/or relatives for a specific patient. There are several reasons for this. First, the logistics ensuring that this blood