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Wed May 19, 2010
ARC workers say there's bad blood
By Kevin Lavery
LANSING, MI –
Front line workers with the American Red Cross are criticizing the agency for mismanagement practices they say have caused the agency to distribute unsafe blood products.
Members of the Red Cross Workers Committee for Blood and Safety say the ARC is failing to comply with a federal consent decree requiring it to tighten its blood safety practices. Since last fall, the Red Cross has recalled more than seven thousand blood products across the country. Safety committee member Lance Rhines says his group is demanding the Red Cross tell the public what happened to more than 200 products the FDA deemed "serious and preventable."
"When these kinds of safety violations take place, more than likely they have been infused into patients and harmed patients and given them potentially lethal diseases," he says.
In Michigan, the Great Lakes Region issued 11 recalls for 20 products suspected to increase the risk of hepatitis. A Red Cross spokeswoman says those products were recalled as a precaution because of clerical errors.