Shortage Of Blood Donations Feared

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(Sacramento, CA)
Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Vicki Wolfe is with Blood Source in Sacramento which supplies blood to 38 hospitals in Northern California. She says potential donors are asking about getting paid. But it’s been about 20 years since they did that. 

“A long time ago, pre-the era of HIV/AIDS, there was a paid blood donor supply in the United States. But we are long past that.” 

Paid blood donations are more likely to screen positive for hepatitis C and HIV. And Wolfe says another reason they don’t do it anymore is to give recipients of donated blood better peace of mind. 

“If you’re a patient, you very much want to know that there were no added cash incentives to lure somebody in to donate for you.” 

Meanwhile, Wolfe says blood donations are expected to dip over the next few weeks. The holiday season is traditionally sluggish because people are either too busy or too sick to give blood.

And Wolfe says the slowdown comes at a bad time. As holiday travel increases, so do the number of accident victims needing blood transfusions.