Blood Donations Down After Las Vegas Hepatitis C Scare

LAS VEGAS (AP) - Blood donations have dropped since a hepatitis
scare triggered a massive health alert in southern Nevada.

Officials say donations at the United Blood Services five fixed sites have dropped 25 percent since early March.

That's when 40,000 former patients at the Endoscopy Center of
Southern Nevada were told to be tested for potentially fatal viruses hepatitis B and C and HIV. The clinic was found to be practicing unsafe injection procedures.

Blood bank recruiter Amy Hutch says many potential donors have
expressed concerns about the safety of giving blood. She says she
assures people that blood banks never reuse needle and dispose of
needles immediately after their use.

Hutch and others said the drop off in donation had not yet caused a serious shortage.
Information from: Las Vegas Sun,

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

AP-NY-03-15-08 1514EDT

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