A Bloody Business

We have all seen it before, the big poster in a wall with a date on it "Come save a life, by giving your blood". We can't resist at the urge, the calling of going into the bus and feeling good about saving a life. I'm not here to say that you are wrong- as a matter of fact I applaud people that want to do the right thing and save a life. Some consider blood is the essence of our body, the main thing that makes our body run, like oil in a car. The truth is there is more to that poster than meets the eye; there is more to that liquid running up the tube into a plastic bag. And today we look closer at the bloody business of blood donating. 

Blood donation is a $4.5 billion dollar industry. The average price of a pint of blood in a hospital being provided to a patient is anywhere from $200 to $600 depending on your location and hospital of choice. Companies that collect the blood on donations sell the blood to hospitals and those fees get forward plus some to the patient. If you thought your donated blood was saving a life free of cost, well I hate to be the bearer of bad news, you are wrong. There is plenty of companies that do the dirty deed all over the world. The Red Cross actually owns 44% of the blood supply.

So the question is, why aren't we getting paid for this liquid cash? Well the truth is, they say that the cost of collecting, managing, and supplying the blood is high, and they have to cover the cost, which I agree with. I mean we cannot expect everyone to work for free, and we also cannot expect the supplies used to draw the blood and transport it to be free. We don't live in a perfect world. Well the problem is that I see certain flaws in that statement. I'm going to use OneBlood, a company based on Florida that draws and sells the blood, as an example. Don Doddridge, CEO of OneBlood, makes about $679,000 and in 2013 he was paid over $2 million in compensations. Gail McGovern, the CEO of The Red Cross, makes over $500,000 a year. So while we work to make a living, and donate our blood for a good cause someone on the top chain is getting rich from every donation we make. So if this is just to cover the cost, why is the CEO making that kind of salary? Wouldn't a CEO taking less salary that is willing to work for the cause and take less money, lower the cost of each pint being sold at hospitals? Isn't that what donating blood is all about? When we donate blood we aren't really giving it so a CEO gets richer and can afford a yatch and a mansion with expensive cars. 

I'm not here to say that we should not donate blood, and I'm not here to say it is wrong. Every person has a decision to make, and that decision should be a personal one. I certainly don't consider something I donate a business, but that is what it is a business. What I'm trying to do is reveal the truth behind an industry that for year and years has been made as something that it is free, that donating blood just goes from you to the person in need. That is far from the truth, the truth is that is a bloody business, and it only gets bloodier with every pint sold.