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American Red Cross Fined $4.2m for Improper Blood Screening

that it would respond to the FDA concerns that they received on Thursday, within 20 days.

Usually blood centers ask donors a series of questions to screen out people with actual or potential blood-borne infections that could be passed to people who receive blood donations after accidents, surgeries, and childbirth.

The Red Cross erred at this point by accepting blood from donors who had not completely filled out questionnaires. Dr. Jay Epstein, director of the FDA's Office of Blood Research and Review said that by failing to check the donor's travel history, for instance, the Red Cross opened the ``remote" possibility of donation by people who would normally be deferred.

These could have included donors who had lived in England when mad cow infection rates rose in animals and spread to humans, and donors who had traveled to regions where malaria risks were high.

Besides this the Red Cross also distributed blood products despite incomplete or problem results from laboratory tests for infections like hepatitis B that the centers run to certify blood donations are safe before use.

Susan Bro, an FDA spokeswoman said, the fine was driven by the number of units of blood the Red Cross voluntarily recalled, but also serves ``as an incentive to address the issues."


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