The president of the state’s largest blood collection agency says while they use the same blood bags that’re involved in a quarantine in the south, there have been no reports of tainted blood in Iowa. Federal officials are investigating Red Cross agencies in Georgia and Tennessee after a mysterious contaminant was found in blood bags. Sheri Vohs is the president of the Blood Center of Iowa, an independent agency which supplies blood to hospitals in 43 counties and uses the same bags as those Red Cross agencies. Vohs has contacted the manufacturer, and been told that since they’ve found nothing here, they should just follow routine procedures. Vohs says her agency does four visual inspections of blood that’s donated, in addition to the tests that’re run in a lab. Vohs says the Blood Center has been using the bags for a number of years. Vohs says the blood bags come in a sterile form, in an enclosed container, so the opportunity for tampering is “really, really limited.” The problems identified in the south have been in American Red Cross centers. The Red Cross serves just about 20 counties in Iowa, mostly rural areas. There are three independent blood centers in Iowa, so a majority of the blood distributed in Iowa does not come from Red Cross facilities. The Red Cross quarantined 70 percent of its blood supply in the Nashville region after white particles were found in the blood. That followed a similar discovery in Georgia.The Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are testing the particles, which were not considered dangerous or infectious.
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