Elsewhere online
August 25, 2014

Declining Demand for Blood Could Drain Red Cross Finances

Medical advances have sharply reduced the need for blood transfusions, sowing major changes in a blood bank industry dominated by the American Red Cross, The New York Times reports.  Transfusions have declined from 15 million units of blood five years to 11 million last year, according to the charity, which has 40 percent of the market and derives about 60 percent of its $3-billion annual budget from blood services.

Blood banks, many of which are also nonprofits, are merging and shedding workers at unprecedented rates as revenue falls. The Red Cross, which has cut about 1,500 jobs in recent years to balance its budget, wants its blood program to become financially self-sufficient.