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February 1971

Commercial Blood in our National Blood Program

Author Affiliations

Stanford, Calif
From the Department of Surgery, Stanford (Calif) University Medical Center.

Arch Surg. 1971;102(2):122-126. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1971.01350020032009

Unless a strong federally licensed blood program is devised to provide quality blood, the risks of contracting posttransfusional hepatitis will continue to increase. Health programs that replace volunteer blood with commercial blood whose donors often have been Skid Row inhabitants, hippie drug addicts, and prisoners add to the problem. The life of the volunteer programs is threatened by this intermixing of commercial and volunteer blood. Since the nation's needs would be met if 7% of the eligible population contributed each year, an all volunteer program would solve the problem. Until a reliable test for potentially infectious blood is established, the best screening device is the knowledge of whether the donor was paid. Every physician using blood, especially the surgeon, should request blood from a volunteer donor until an effective test is available.