Blood Bank of Alaska says complaint to FDA has no merit
It’s been three months since a former employee of the Blood Bank of Alaska filed a complaint against the nonprofit with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The former development director at the Blood Bank filed the complaint at the end of August. On Friday, the Blood Bank and its board of directors issued a reply.
The complaint alleges the Blood Bank fell into financial trouble after it took out an unanticipated loan to finish a $45,000,000 new building. The complaint accuses the Blood Bank of trying to raise money to repay the loan by selling Alaskan’s blood to a blood bank in California and leaving the state with a shortage.
After the complaint was filed, the Blood Bank launched an internal investigation led by three of its board members. Blood Bank CEO Robert Scanlon said the investigation concluded all of the allegations in the complaint were unfounded.
Scanlon said they do provide a California blood bank with blood that is close to its expiration date. He said money from that is used to help collect and process more blood in Alaska. He also said there has never been a shortage.
“In the 55-year history of the Blood Bank of Alaska there has never been an instance where any of the hospitals have gone without blood and it has effected treatment of a patient,” said Scanlon. “Fifty-five years and that is in any weather, any time of day, over any holiday, we are as constant as the U.S. Postal Service.”
Scanlon said the Blood Bank did put out a series of alerts over the summer that blood supplies were critically low. He said they did that as a precaution after an anticipated blood shortage in the Lower 48 and the assumption that Alaska would have a difficult time getting blood from outside in the event of a emergency.
Scanlon went on to say that the Blood Bank passed two recent audits, one by the FDA in March and another by the American Association of Blood Banks in July. When the complaint was filed in August, he said he contacted the FDA to see what they planned to do and was told that if they hadn’t asked to see the facility they probably weren’t going to.
“This is the wording that was provided by the Food and Drug Administration when I discussed the situation with them,” said Scanlon. “It is reasonable and accurate to assume, based upon the fact that the Food and Drug Administration has not presented a request for inspection of the Blood Bank of Alaska, that the accusations that have been leveled against us are meritless.”
Based on that conversation, Scanlon said he did not believe the FDA was investigating the Blood Bank.
Attempts to reach the FDA were unsuccessful Friday.
The post Blood Bank of Alaska says complaint to FDA has no merit appeared first on KTVA 11.