Many of the nation’s blood banks will start charging hospitals more for blood, but some Iowa blood banks aren’t following suit. Siouxland Community Blood Bank executive director Jan Twait says the tests which ensure the blood supply’s safe are getting more expensive and will cost them more.But Twait says her agency will not charge hospitals in the Sioux City region more for blood.Twait says it costs about a dollar-70 more per unit to test for diseases like AIDS and hepatitis. Twait’s agency has cut its own budget rather than pass along the price spike to area hospitals.The Blood Center of Central Iowa is the state’s largest blood collection agency. President Sheri Vohs says the 25 hospitals it serves in 22 counties will not see a price increase. But she says one factor driving up costs is the current worldwide panic over Mad Cow Disease. She says though the risk is only theoretical, the FDA is considering new rules that could eliminate up to eight percent of blood donors worldwide. That would take a million units of blood out of the supply. She says Iowa’s the envy of other parts of the country, with our generous donor base. But Vohs says even as new technology makes the blood supply safer, it costs more, and an aging population means fewer donors. Most Red Cross affiliates WILL raise the price of blood, effective July 1st.
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