Heads up: Does the Red Cross sell your frozen plasma?

Daniel Engber over at Slate has an article explaining how the American Red Cross sells blood. I’ve known that forever. He doesn’t mention that the Red Cross produces about half of its operating budget selling donated blood. (That figure is from memory but should be in the right ballpark. A Cleveland newspaper put the revenue at 67% in 1987.)

Now that I no longer live in the States, I don’t support any of the Red Crosses, American (ARC), German (DRC) or International (IRC).  Actually I don’t support any of the other shapes either. When I donate to a charity, I usually give to Doctors without borders and for first aid training (have you (re-)done your CPR certificate lately)  I go to the German Malteser International.

I’ll do a separate post ranting about the various RC organisations but suffice it to say I’ve had bad experiences before I left the States, my father had bad experiences during the Korean War and the Red Cross managed to ‘mislay’ the body of my grandfather’s first wife and baby daughter while he was in Europe during the WWI. Yeah, I have issues.

I’ll also do a separate post praising Doctors without borders.

I just wanted to use this post to give the heads up to David’s article.

Oh, and don’t even get me started about real faith-based aid organisations. I won’t call them blood suckers but…

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1 comment so far

  1. Teresa on

    My dad worked the big Red River flood in Grand Forks/East Grand Forks way back when.

    He said the Red Cross was next to useless, and recommended The Salvation Army for donations.

    But that’s a religious organization, so I’m not thrilled about that either.


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