Give Blood! Save a Life Today!
We see blood mobiles parked outside of our corporate offices, gyms, churches and shopping centers all the time. Within these mobile blood banks are a few vampires ready to use their needles to suck the life force out of your body, but it's all for a great cause.
The blood that we donate goes to assist patients of cancer or emergency room victims right in our home towns. This is a very simple way to save someones life and be a hero.
Or is it?
The moment that your blood is drawn it is on the open market to be sold to a local, regional or remote hospital. The eventual cost could rise as high as $300 per pint, but parts of Seattle have reported to pay as much as $600 per pint.
There is an open market for blood trade. You'd be surprised, and possibly disgusted, to know that your blood that you donated may be sold off numerous times. Within each step of the sales process, the price of your blood will be marked up gradually until it arrives at a major metropolitan area, such as Seattle, that is willing to pay a premium for it.
Instead of the end consumer paying a small price due to the blood being donated, or receiving this blood for free as one might think, the increased costs due to repeated sales are passed on to the consumer. The average cost of a pint of blood to the patient is around $130 - $150.
This is considerably higher in certain geographical locations.
Of course, there are associated processing costs and blood donation employees do need to collect salaries. This cost is only a small fraction of the sales price, however.
Possibly even more disconcerting is that with a surprisingly short shelf life of 42 days, around 5% of all blood donated goes to waste and is thrown away due to inefficiencies. At the very least this is poor business -- at most it is absolutely shameful.
A great example of just how lucrative this industry can be is the American Red Cross. The Red Cross reports over 2 billion dollars in blood business per year and only represents approximately 50 percent of the industry.
Although the actual drawing of blood has very strict safety standards and is scrutinized by the federal government, the blood sales industry remains very under regulated and surprisingly inefficient.
Perhaps this does not make donating blood a bad idea, and you may save lives by doing so; however, it does seem to be considerably unethical to pitch something as an altruistic endeavor then make billions of dollars off of it.
At the very least, it is willful false advertising and blatant profiteering.