We are grateful for your well-written article on the current environment of blood banking ("Out for blood," June 22, p. 26). But we would like to address a few issues involving competition between charitable organizations and how it can adversely affect the community blood supply.
Historically, blood centers have worked in conjunction with local hospitals to ensure a steady and safe blood supply. Indeed, most community blood centers that make up America's Blood Centers were formed by hospitals to ensure fair access to local blood resources and to assure donors that their gift was first used to support their friends and families. The ABC consortium of independent, not-for-profit centers still works in this format without concern for market share.
As blood providers, we need to be cognizant of the community that graciously gives its time and money to ensure that its blood needs are met. Community healthcare partners nationwide must develop long-term strategies that focus on the immediate and future blood and medical needs. Ethical competition on an equal playing field can lead to improvements in service and price. Grabs for market share without regard for the long-term effect on the blood supply are a dangerous form of competition in which we do not wish to participate.
America's Blood Centers