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The San Diego Blood Bank Putting Greater Focus On Research

A woman receives a transfusion of donated blood while lying in a hospital bed...

Credit: makelessnoise via Compfight

Above: A woman receives a transfusion of donated blood while lying in a hospital bed, June 6, 2008.

The San Diego Blood Bank Putting Greater Focus On Research

GUEST:

David Wellis, chief executive officer, San Diego Blood Bank

Transcript

The San Diego Blood Bank is becoming a bigger part of the region’s scientific research community.

For years, the blood bank has collected, stored and donated blood to hospitals around the county. But amid a drop in demand for transfusions, the blood bank is now focusing more on research and it's been expanding its services outside county lines.

“Our core business is providing blood for hospitals and we have been very successful in the San Diego, Orange County and Los Angeles markets.," said David Wellis, chief executive officer, San Diego Blood Bank. "The number of hospitals that we provide for is going up. So what's happening with San Diego Blood Bank is the need for blood is increasing because we are gaining more hospital contracts and we are saving more patients lives in a larger area. So, even up in Orange County and Los Angeles, we are operating a Southern California blood bank."

As reported in the San Diego Union-Tribune, while the blood bank has always worked with local researchers, it’s now working more closely with research labs on specialized blood products.

David Wellis told KPBS Midday Edition that even though new strategies are being implemented to keep the blood bank thriving, blood donations will always remain a core aspect of the business.

“There is no imitation blood and substitute for blood," Wellis said. "We will always have to collect blood. My guess is that utilization will continue to trend down but it is still the majority of our revenue as a blood bank.”

"However," Wellis added. "I do see that these diversified activities in research will become a greater and greater portion of our overall business. The need for blood will not go away."

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