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HFA Voices Blood Safety Concerns

Tuesday, December 15, 2009 Medical PDA News J E 4
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WASHINGTON, Dec. 14 The Hemophilia Federation of America (HFA) expresses its concern regarding the ongoing labor issues involving the Teamsters Local 929 and the American Red Cross of Pennsylvania /New Jersey. The national blood system depends on skilled workers to provide clean, safe blood to laboratories. The blood is distilled into products such as clotting factor for use in treating hemophilia and von Willebrand disease.

The Division of Blood Services at the American Red Cross forms an integral link in America's blood supply. We would encourage the American Red Cross to re-commit itself to maintaining a safe, clean, and healthful presence inside America's larger health infrastructure.

Blood collection at the Red Cross continues to be subject to a sixteen-year-old consent decree stemming from Federal Court action. The nature of this civil matter raises serious questions. The ongoing contract impasse and labor action serve as just the latest evidence of a pattern of behavior which seems to place cost ahead of the health and well-being of both workers and end-users of blood products.

When blood safety is threatened by the business cycle, it is of grave concern. The safety of the blood supply remains our highest priority. To this end, we call on all institutions serving users of blood products to place safety concerns ahead of cost. We, as consumers, saw first-hand the dire consequences of allowing the shadow of cost weigh too heavily on public health outcomes, as some ten-thousand people with hemophilia contracted HIV/AIDS and/or Hepatitis C.

The Hemophilia Federation of America calls on all of the parties to re-double their efforts and move towards a speedy and equitable end to this current labor stalemate. It is our belief that doing so is in the best interest of all parties concerned.

The Hemophilia Federation of America is a national 501(c)(3) organization consisting of 30 member organizations and numerous individual members who offer assistance and grassroots advocacy on behalf of the bleeding disorders community. Incorporated in 1994, the HFA provides programs and services to improve the quality of life for persons with hemophilia and von Willebrand disease (VWD).

For more information, visit our website at www.hemophiliafed.org or call 1-800-230-9797.

SOURCE Hemophilia Federation of America
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