FDA Approves System to Make Donated Blood Safer

From the WebMD Archives

Dec. 17, 2014 -- The first system that destroys viruses and bacteria in donated blood plasma has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The Intercept Blood System provides an extra measure of protection against viruses such as HIV and hepatitis C and could make transfusions safer, The New York Times reported.

However, some experts point out that the blood supply in the United States is already considered safe and using the Intercept system would be an extra, unnecessary cost.

"The nonprofit blood collection industry can't afford it," Dr. Michael Busch, director of the nonprofit Blood Systems Research Institute and a professor at the University of California, San Francisco, told The Times. "Blood is extraordinarily safe now."