:Red Cross Spends Millions To Attract Donors
@bdoy:WASHINGTON, DC-The American Red Cross is counting on a $5 million advertising campaign to attract new blood donors. The campaign was funded after the organization announced new restrictions for donors.
The donor pool may become even smaller this fall when new restrictions will be imposed, prohibiting any person who has spent three months or more since 1980 in the United Kingdom, or six months or more since 1980 in any other part of Europe.
The restrictions are set to protect people from the mysterious variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. There is little know about the human form of mad cow disease, but 100 people have died from the disease within the last few years in the UK.
The restrictions will begin in September; officials at the Red Cross estimate an 8% drop in donations.
The nonprofit organization provides about half of the donor blood used in the US. With medical procedures advancing and needing more blood, and the population of viable donors shrinking, the Red Cross hopes their advertising dollars are being well spent.
The US Food and Drug Administrations, which watches over US blood collection, will also proposed rule revisions to its blood advisory committee in June. Any changes made would also be applied this fall.