The American Red Cross said it has identified the perplexing white particles found in donated blood throughout the southeast, but the blood supplier still has no idea how they got there. The clumps are normal blood components -- platelets, white blood cells and fibrin strands -- usually present in blood but not in large enough quantities to be noticed. Meanwhile, earlier this week the Red Cross reported that an elderly cardiac patient died at a Georgia hospital Jan. 28, the same day he received two units of blood, and the Red Cross said it is investigating the death with the hospital. The Food and Drug Administration said it would soon issue guidance for inspecting blood as a precautionary measure while the investigation continues, but testing so far has found no evidence of an infectious agent. Most of the reports have involved blood contained in bags manufactured by Baxter Healthcare Corp. and distributed at Red Cross centers in the southeast, including Tennessee and Georgia, the FDA said. -- by Cinda Becker
Red Cross identifies blood particles, probe goes on
Send us a letter
Have an opinion about this story? Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor, and we may publish it in print.