How safe from blood-borne pathogens can our blood supply and blood products really be today? Grifols, a Spanish company, owns about 147 plasma collection centers in the United States. Articles about Talecris (now owned by Grifol) has many centers near the Mexican border. Poor Mexicans sell their blood/plasma once or twice each week to pay their bills.
This is happening in non-border states too. In my clippings folder, I found an ad (2011) from Talecris from the JOBS FLYER of a local MN paper. It looks like they are targeting students for this exchange and they have three collection sites! Some job.
The company states that donors are being paid for their time only. Sure. Wink. Wink.
Does the VA buy these blood products? Are all those burning-the-midnight-oil student donors indeed healthy? I’ve scanned the FDA website to see if these blood businesses are required to screen for Hepatitis E (HEV) yet however I don’t see any current press releases. Therefore, baby boomers and pregnant women (HCV/HBV status known or unknown) should be careful because it doesn’t matter if they are transfused with truly volunteer blood or paid-for blood given the current lack of HEV screening.