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Selling your fluids

September 20, 2022

Vanessa Veselka writes lucidly about how blood plasma is bought in the US:

Our system of “donation” is so successful that the United States provides about two-thirds of the plasma available worldwide, and accounts for 35 percent to 40 percent of the plasma used in medicine in Europe — so much of which comes out of the veins of America’s poor. The first time I heard that you could sell plasma was in the mid-1980s. I was 15 and living under a bridge. The people around me called the plasma center the “Stab Lab.”

Jan_HoremansI donate whole blood a few times a year. In the US, whole blood donation is not compensated. Well, you get a cookie and maybe a t-shirt. No cash. That makes a difference in the donor pool and in the social experience of donating. On the medical side, you still are interviewed and still recline for twenty minutes with a needle drawing from a vein.

Painting by Jan Horemans shows bloodletting in 17th century.

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