FDA Calls for Changes at Philly Red Cross

Just how safe is the blood supply in our area?

The Food and Drug Administration had some harsh words for the American Red Cross donor center in Philadelphia. In an inspection report the federal agency sites quality assurance lapses, chronic understaffing and ineffective management.

The inspection done last fall at the donor center on Spring Garden Street was unannounced.

The Penn-Jersey Bloods Services Region located at the Philly center is part of a consolidation effort by the Red Cross to make sure donated blood is safe, according to the Inquirer.

In the inspection report, the FDA blamed many of the center's problems on chronic understaffing. It also claimed that workers, whose job is to protect the blood supply, weren’t fully trained.

"We are not aware of any adverse donor reactions or patient impact due to the problems identified in the 2010 FDA report regarding the centers,” the Red Cross said in a written statement.

The statement went on to give a plan of action moving forward:

"The blood supply is safer today than ever before, and people should not hesitate to give or receive blood.

"We continue to implement our planned corrective actions and evaluate their effectiveness.  We provided the FDA with our corrective action plan and reviewed the progress the DCSC has made to date with the agency.

"The Red Cross and the FDA share a common goal of the safest blood supply possible for this country.  We take any and all problems seriously and have an in-depth process for investigating and correcting these issues as they occur."

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