Thursday, August 30, 2007

Red Cross Blood Donation Scam

Gadabout believes that blood is a commodity—for the most part. In general, the American medical establishment depends on a plentiful supply of “clean” blood for the survival of many. To fill this need, the public is called upon by the Red Cross for donations from the citizenry under the guise of “citizenship.” The Red Cross, under the leadership of highly paid professionals; advertises, pleas, shames, and operates mobile units to collect blood. But somewhere along the line the cost to recipients skyrockets.

Gadabout does not know how much a hospital charges for a unit of blood, but I bet it is at least $250 (I am willing to take a comment here from an administrative professional). My premise is that if donors where paid for their blood, then there would never be a shortage of blood under NORMAL (commercial) conditions. Gadabout is O negative. If I were to donate a unit of blood once a month for my entire life and if tragedy were to hit me tomorrow, I’d still be paying full price for what I consumed. Think of this—if we were paid for blood, then those, like myself who are Aids and Hep-B free, would be willing to give and give if there was some kind of reciprocity program in place.

So long as overpaid chairman of the Red Cross, overpaid HMO executives, and overpaid hospital administrators lead the medical community, then we are not operating under an umbrella of volunteerism. Thousands of individuals are making serious cash from free blood donations. If blood was treated like a true commodity, the cost per unit might actually decline for the end user. Donation trucks? Gone. Advertising? Gone. Supplies? Stabilized. Fear mongering? Yesterday's news.

Okay, Gadabout, how about disasters, war, and unforecasted events? Well, yes, we donate. Yes, Gadabout has given blood in the past since we do operate under a flawed system, and O neg is a hot commodity. Once, while pulling out of port aboard the USS Blueridge, a mooring line mishap seriously injured 3 sailors. The call was made for O neg and I ran down to medical only to find I was about 10th in line. I was turned away, but would have given that sailor all I could possibly give before expiring myself. And I would do it at a moments notice for other fellow Americans, so long as the recipient wasn’t going to be charged for my blood to fill the pockets of fat cats.

The “establishment” has not exposed the difference between commercial and disaster related blood demands, and because so we find ourselves supporting a skewed market environment. A market that is ripe for money making at the expense of distorting the facts and engendering fear. Shame on you, Red Cross!


Anonymous said...

I believe the Red cross and other similar groups charge hospital approx. $200 for a unit of blood (I found figures on a brief internet search). I couldn't find what the hospital then charges the patient, but $1,000 would not surprise me. I believe this because 17 years ago I had a minor outpatient surgery. I was sent home with a 1 ounce tube of generic neosporin ointment. The itemized bill showed a charge of over $10.00 for that item. I can guarantee that the hospital bought this item probably 1,000 at a time for a cost of les than $1.00 per tube. I would have fought it, but fortunately I worked for that hospital and at the time their policy was to write off expenses not covered by insurance for their employees.

The Red Cross, many years ago, used to credit donors if they needed a transfusion, but they no longer do this. I asked about it when I used to be a regular donor and they said it's because most of the cost of the blood is due to testing and storage. Also if you donate your own blood ahead of time for a planned surgery, to be used for yourself if needed, the hospital still charges you some amount for processing and storing it.

I agree that all of these costs could be reduced tremendously if the executives of the Red Cross, insurance companies, and hospital systems were not getting multi million dollar bonuses yearly. But what can we do? unfortunately when you are in a situation where you need blood you really don't have the time to shop around for the best price.

August 30, 2007 8:36 PM

Gadabout Jack said...

Good post...thanks for the info...the fat cats have all the dough!

Anonymous said...

G. J.

I quite enjoy the controversy you stir up. And this pot should be stirred. It's getting close to Halloween... perhaps it should be called witches brew-- for the blood they drain!

It's quite wicked in how they're are preying upon public sympathy as a means to get donors. Their image in New Orleans seems pretty good though after Katrina. Maybe we just haven't had a chance to see them in action enough on a personal level here. I hope never to be in need of their services for many reasons.

Yes, they've had problems dating back to World War II. Granted their image isn't good and doesn't seem to have improved much. I'm sure this is especially true to those families whose loved ones have been infected with AIDS by there lack of attention details in that area in the past.

I'm not sure who the players in this game are that can change this one? Still no matter what, if you're in need of a transfusion there is only one way to get it for now... from The A.R.C. and donors.

Donations have gone down. I've known many who've needed them and people who've given. Do we stop giving? The price tag is high and profits are too. But if it saves a life can we put a price tag on that one-- bad image or not?

Shallow and biased... G. J., this was very deep. Straight to the heart, I might add. By the way, FYI, the top three holiday weekends for catching the #9 by D.U.I. drivers or being hit by one are: Memorial Day, 4th of July and Labor Day.

Peace out,

Lacey M.

Anonymous said...

stopped donating to t scam blood market yrs ago.60 min did a TV piece called trail of blood exposing t scam.all are paid up t line no non profit reality to it.when I tell Peo they call me neg

Anonymous said...

When making out a living will, ask for blood alternatives. The Jehovah Witnesses have helped tremendously by pushing hospitals and doctors to find blood alternatives. Not only are they safer, but cheaper too.
ARC & other blood companies must be pushing "blood" vs the alternatives since they have money to "donate" to hospitals. Do more research. Patients that received blood tend to take longer to heal and recover among other issues. Not to mention, who knows what can be in blood that isn't tested for YET. Blood products should be a last resort for the majority of recipients.
Not only have I been a blood transfusion patient in the past, I've also worked in the medical field. Make a living will and make sure your family is aware of your choice.
Be safe!