(Host) Vermont’s blood supply is about to grow more plentiful. Ten of Vermont’s fourteen hospitals have contracted with a national blood management company to increase the state’s blood supply.
Coral Blood Services of California will establish the Vermont Blood Center. The Center will supplement services provided by the American Red Cross. Coral currently provides blood services and products to more than 160 hospitals in the nation.
Marie Beatrice Grause is president and CEO of the Vermont Association of Hospitals and Health Systems. She says one reason to establish a Blood Center is to guarantee an adequate blood supply. According to Grause, physicians have been unhappy with the choice and the cost of blood products provided by the Red Cross:
(Grause) “Hospitals alone in the aggregate from 2000 to 2001 have spent, have seen a million dollar increase in the cost of blood products, so establishing the Blood Center with Coral will allow them to purchase lower cost blood, will allow them to increase the supply of blood.”
(Host) Grause says one goal of the Center will be to hold more frequent blood donation drives in a wider variety of locations.
(Grause) “We have 60% of Vermonters are eligible to donate blood, but only 3% of Vermonters actually do. And so we really need to make some inroads into increasing that number.”
(Host) Grause expects that all Vermont hospitals will ultimately contract with Coral Services.
Carol Dembeck is with the American Red Cross. She says a pint of blood is important no matter what the source, and she hopes Vermonters continue to donate to the Red Cross.