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Jalisco transfusion center warns against buying blood in the street. Jalisco transfusion center warns against buying blood in the street.

Blood can be bought in the street for 500 pesos, but it carries risks

Sellers are a common sight outside Guadalajara hospitals

Need some blood? Donors outside hospitals in Guadalajara are offering to sell it for between 500 pesos and 1,000 pesos (US $26-$52), according to María Guadalupe Becerra Leyva, the director of the state’s blood transfusion center.

But she warned the practice is dangerous for the buyer. Despite the risk, Becerra said it’s common to see groups of people selling their blood outside hospitals and the transfusion center.

She said officials attempt to make the groups leave the vicinity of the center. But in order to completely stop the process, she said, officials need to act on and apply the law.

“In order to legally sanction them, the thing is you have to find the mafias . . .” who recruit people to sell.

Becerra recalls patients seeking blood from similar groups when she was working in public hospitals in Guadalajara.

The risk is that the blood might not be clean, she said.

“If we ask [the vendor], ‘Do you use drugs?’ surely he’s going to say no. If we ask him, ‘Do you have tattoos?’ he’s going to say no. If we ask him, ‘Do you have various partners?’ he’s going to say no because he’s going to receive money from the donation he’s going to make. So what he tells us is not going to be true.”

Becerra was speaking on World Blood Donor Day Friday and called on people to donate blood officially through the state system.

She observed that students make up the largest group of donors.

The process for donating blood in Jalisco takes two hours. She said a donation has the potential to save many lives.

Source: Milenio (sp)

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