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MOH Punishes 3 Blood Collection Station
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Three blood collection stations in China have been punished for illegal plasma collection practices, the Ministry of Health said on Tuesday.

The blood collection station in Fangshan County, north China's Shanxi Province, kept fake blood supply information and did not manage its files properly, the ministry said.

"It collected blood from donors with fake identities and offered no physical checkups for suppliers or lab testing of blood samples before collecting plasma," said the ministry in a notice posted on its website.

"The computer used to distinguish donors' identities did not work properly, and its blood collection room and lab were shabby and substandard," it said.

Local health authorities have revoked the station's licence and officials responsible for its management and operation are being investigated, it said.

Another two blood collection stations, one in Loudi City in central China's Hunan Province and the other in Jieyang City in south China's Guangdong Province, collected plasma from donors who gave fake identities or sold blood more often than allowed, according to the notice.

A law introduced in 1998 forbids donors from offering blood more than once every six months.

Local health authorities have revoked the licence of the Hunan station and fined it 100,000 yuan (US$13,160). Officials who offered those with fake identities permits to sell blood will be investigated and punished, the ministry said.

The head of the Guangdong blood collection station has been sacked. A deputy head of the station and an official in the city's health department also received administrative punishments, it said.

Another six people in Guangdong have been jailed for operating an illegal blood donation ring. Earlier reports said they forced migrant workers desperate for cash to sell blood up to 10 times a month by issuing them with fake identity cards.

The ministry on Tuesday required all blood collection stations to install video cameras in key places, such as the permit issuing office and the blood collection room.

"They will help us monitor the entire blood collection process," said Mao Qun'an, the ministry spokesman, at a press conference here on Tuesday.

(Xinhua News Agency July 11, 2007)

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