Dying U.S. Blood Supply Needs Life-Giving Transfusion of Its Own:Regaining and Maintaining a Critical National Resource
There are many components vitally essential to our biological function, and humanity tends to recognize, and often fight against, mounting threats to those very things. As a civilized society, Americans, in general, expect clean air, drinkable water, and safe food on a daily basis. However, a resource equally as essential to each of us is rarely recognized for its utility and necessity until a threat to its viability becomes personal. The blood shortage in the United States grows more critical every day, but for those of us lucky enough to not urgently need blood, the threat feels more removed and less important than similar threats to the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we consume. This article looks at the history of blood donation, collection, and supply in the United States, and how changing societal norms, unworkable federal regulation, and misdirected economic influences are impacting the blood shortage crisis. The result is an urgent need to reconsider how the blood supply system could work to more efficiently solve for the even larger, more urgent need for blood.