Medicine: Better Blood Banking

In the U.S. last year, doctors used some 8.8 million units of blood to give transfusions to patients undergoing extensive surgery, suffering from injuries, hemophilia or such diseases as leukemia and aplastic anemia. Because voluntary donations fall short of the amount that hospitals need, much of the blood used for transfusions came from Skid Row derelicts or drug addicts who sold it for the price of a bottle or a fix. Many of those blood peddlers had hepatitis. Thus every year an estimated 17,000 cases of hepatitis result from transfused blood. One in...

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