Since 2003, the Red Cross has reportedly been fined more than $21 million and cited a dozen times in what have been called “chronic” blood safety violations. The American Red Cross, one of several organizations responsible for collecting and managing the country’s blood supply, reportedly accounts for approximately 43% of the blood supply in the United States. It sells blood products including red blood cells, plasma, and platelets to various health facilities.
The majority of this latest fine is reportedly related to the mismanagement of certain blood products and violations in the manufacturing process. However, in spite of these oversights, the FDA has said the organization’s blood supply appears to be safe. In fact, according to an American Red Cross spokesperson, 98% of the violations cited by the FDA occurred prior to 2008, at a time when the organization was overwhelmed with staffing cuts. Since then, according to the Red Cross, the group has made significant improvements.