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Red Cross blood collection services riddled with problems

Despite being under a court order for 15 years to improve how it collects and processes blood, the American Red Cross remains plagued by problems, reports Stephanie Strom of The New York Times. "The problems, described in more than a dozen publicly available F.D.A. reports — some of which cite hundreds of lapses — include shortcomings in screening donors for possible exposure to diseases; failures to spend enough time swabbing arms before inserting needles; failures to test for syphilis; and failures to discard deficient blood." Since 2003, $21 million in fines have been levied against the the ARC for failure to follow procedures meant to keep the blood supply safe.

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