The following statement regarding the REDS III / HEIRS study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association may be attributed to Dr. Richard Benjamin, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Medical Officer, American Red Cross:
“The American Red Cross welcomes the new study highlighting the benefits of frequent blood donors taking iron supplements. This research reinforces the position that the Red Cross has taken since 2013.
Our top priority is the health and safety of our blood donors and the ultimate recipients of blood. The Red Cross already informs all donors that they lose iron with each blood donation, and materials sharing information about iron supplementation are available pre- and post-donation. Our recommendation that regular blood donors take an iron supplement aligns with guidance from the AABB (formerly known as the American Association of Blood Banks) and this new research.
The Red Cross encourages all blood donors to discuss their iron level, how much they donate, and if they need to take an iron supplement with their healthcare provider. We will update our recommendations on this issue as new information becomes available.”