Attention is focused this week on two fundamental problems in blood banking which could significantly impair the provision of blood and components for replacement therapy. The procurement and transfusion of human blood are medical procedures which require the direction and supervision of a physician, a concept supported by AMA policy adopted in 1963. Nevertheless, motivating many physicians to accept leadership responsibilities in blood banking and blood uses is exceedingly difficult. Also, the supply of blood from voluntary blood donors, which AMA policy favors, is not keeping pace with the increasing need for blood in patient care, a need typified by the clinical situation described by Berger et al on page 267 of this issue.
The American Association of Blood Banks, on the occasion of its 20th anniversary meeting this week in New York, is reviewing these persistent problems and seeking solutions. In highlighting the problems it is appropriate that we