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The practice of using commercial blood began shortly after World War II. Commensurate with the increase of the use of commercial donors was the decrease of emphasis upon the collection of blood from volunteer donors. This change came about for a number of reasons, perhaps the most important being the postwar affluence of our society. Many patients preferred to buy blood as replacement rather than to trouble their friends to donate. Shortly thereafter, blood insurance was introduced and the patient no longer felt it necessary to seek such replacements.
As the concept of blood insurance grew, the public as a whole lost interest in giving blood. The American National Red Cross blood program met with little enthusiasm in its early years. With the increase in the number of health insurance policies providing coverage for blood transfusions, the volunteer blood banks had to work out means to supply blood requests. By
Allen JG. An All-Volunteer National Blood Program. Arch Surg. 1972;104(4):607-608. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1972.04180040221037