Dave Killion — November 17, 2014
This article is not too recent, but it’s a particularly good reminder of how undependable mass media can be –
“Canada’s blood supply is at its lowest level in five years, according to Canadian Blood Services. The reason is simple: Canadians just aren’t rolling up their sleeves to give. It’s a troubling issue, especially going into a long weekend, when demand typically spikes…
…On some level, we all know there’s a need for more. Ask yourself: When was the last time you gave blood? Maybe back in high school? Maybe never?”
Or, better yet, ask yourself: In an article concerned about the need for blood, why is there nothing about the need for blood? That is, why are they talking about supply, but not demand? Well, maybe because then the story wouldn’t be quite so alarming –
“A recent article in The New York Times has revealed transfusions in the US are down almost one-third. One reason cited for declining demand is that recent studies have found many transfusions unnecessary, so patients are no longer getting expensive services that did them no good.”
Indeed, not only are many transfusions unnecessary, some can be fatal! Happily, technological improvements and advances in technique (spurred, in part, by the refusal by Jehovah’s Witnesses to accept transfusions), mean that there’s a lot less need for blood than there used to be. That being the case, it might be interesting to know what the gap between supply and demand is, relative to five years ago. But since that particular stat might not be so menacing, we only get part of the story.