To the Editor: The bleak conclusions that Etchason and colleagues offer about the limited usefulness and high costs of autologous blood donation (March 16 issue)1 seem premature and unwarranted. The ability to test and eliminate most donors with hepatitis B or C or the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is an important advance but does not ensure a completely safe blood supply. Just this year, new hepatitis viruses have been identified2; at least one is transmitted through blood transfusion (Alter HJ: personal communication). Many additional bacterial, viral, and protozoal infections are problems, and other complications of allogeneic blood transfusion are.
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