The Solution to Our Blood Shortage: the Dead

It sounds macabre, but it could work, argues columnist
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 23, 2015 5:56 PM CDT
The Solution to Our Blood Shortage: the Dead

You may have heard a plea from your local Red Cross to donate blood recently, given the usual shortages of summer. At Real Clear Science, Ross Pomeroy suggests a permanent solution to the problem: "Drain blood from the dead." It sounds macabre, but it's actually quite safe, he writes. Think of how much goes to waste in funeral parlors as blood is drained and then replaced with embalming fluid. "Would it not make more sense to remove the blood at the hospital soon after death?" he asks.

The biggest hurdle to the idea would be overcoming public aversion, but hospital staffers also would have to figure out the "morbid" logistics. By Pomeroy's math, if we took the blood from a third of the approximately 2.6 million Americans who die each year, it would result in an extra 4.5 million liters for hospitals. In other words, "taking blood from cadavers could ensure that no patient is ever deprived of the life-giving blood they need." Click for his full column. (More blood stories.)

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