The National Federation of Blood Donors is still bemused and angry over the Red Cross's ban on people who have lived in the United Kingdom for at least six months giving blood in Spain because of the mad cow scare. It stressed to the health service that over the next three years 500'000 new blood donors are needed and that by introducing restrictions, people's lives are being put in danger. Dr. Stoma, a blood donor himself, who practices in Portals Nous said yesterday that the Red Cross ban came as a shock to him and “poured cold water” on years of effort he and his staff have channeled into trying to encourage more people, particular the British members of the local community, to give blood. Stoma admitted that it has not been easy. “Many say they gave blood at home,(in Britain) but my reply was why not continue here where blood is still needed to save people's lives.” But the Red Cross ban, which the National Federation of Blood Donors says “does not make sense,” has not helped the situation. The Federation stressed yesterday that unless scientists say otherwise “there are no risks, either for donors or for patients, so there is not any cause for alarm or for blood to be rejected.” Dr Stoma said the Red Cross “has knocked the wind out of my sails.” But the doctor said that the mad cow crisis has been blown out of proportion by politicians and that the situation should have been put in the hands of the medical profession right from the start. Politicians dealing with mad cow, (a medical issue) “is like asking air traffic controllers to fly a plane,” Stoma said. “It's a medical case which has been dealt with very badly by the politicians, just like they floundered about with Aids. It's got out of control and politicians are frightening society,” Stoma said yesterday.


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