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December 22, 1993

Blood Donation by Patients With Hemochromatosis-Reply

JAMA. 1993;270(24):2929. doi:10.1001/jama.1993.03510240040027

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In Reply.  —As Dr Friedrich states, patients with hemochromatosis are quite capable of providing units of blood. However, the number of such patients in the United States is so few that they would provide only a minimal increase in available blood. I differ with him in his feeling that patients with hemochromatosis do not gain from blood donation. These patients currently incur significant cost and inconvenience in obtaining therapeutic phlebotomy services from hospitals, physicians' offices, or blood centers, and therefore may seek to be blood donors to avoid these costs, whether qualified or not. Finally, it is generally believed by regulating and accrediting agencies that laboratory procedures alone are insufficient to provide the required minimal risk of transfusion-transmitted disease.Dr Penning notes correctly that donor motivation is insufficient for product safety; however, it is a necessary element. As he points out, the practice of using this blood is allowed if