Monday, July 22, 2002

For future reference: when emergencies involving many injuries arise, don't give blood. Instead, wait for a time when the blood banks need blood.

Clearly, blood banks could use a number of changes to even out the flow, some suggested by the New Republic article:

  • Turn away qualified donors when there are too many. Ask them to come back rather than waste time, money and blood, even though most don't come back.
  • Publish more information. Links from local daily web sites? Perhaps the local newspaper could be encouraged to print a daily "blood supply meter" showing when the pipeline is full, and when it's empty and more donors are needed.
  • Simplify the questionnaire. Some questions, as the New Republic article points out, are uselessly vague or even indeterminate. Those questions are useless as a supplement to the pathogen lab tests that already exist.

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