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Blood Donation

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Health Care Market-Blood Donation

Health Care Market- Blood Donation
According to Wikipedia, blood is a specialized bodily fluid that delivers necessary substances to the body’s cells, such as nutrients and oxygen, and transports waste products away from those same cells (Wikipedia, 2011). There has been a high demand for blood, all types of blood. Statistically speaking someone in the United States needs blood every two seconds (Rare Blood Types, 2010). Due to the high need for blood, scarcity plays a role with blood donation. This paper will discuss how scarcity resources influence the market, and the choices stakeholders are forced to make. The essay will also relay the economic flows that may affect the health care market, the causes of change in supply and demand and the affects of equilibrium price and quantity, and the pricing decisions for blood donations with elasticity or inelasticity.
A resource is considered scarce when its availability is not enough to meet its demand. Scarcity is based on the idea that oftentimes a limited supply of goods or services comes up against an ever increasing demand for it, and that ever effort must be made to ensure its proper utilization and distribution to avoid inefficiency (International Society for Complexity, Information, and Design, 2005). Blood is needed for many individuals, whether it is for someone that has trauma, needed surgery, needed blood transfusion, cancer patients, etc. More than 38,000 blood donations are needed every day to meet the need for the high supply, however, this need is not met (American Red Cross, 2011).
Being that there is a high need for blood donation, stakeholder need to find creative ways to obtain the blood that is needed. The stakeholders are the physicians, blood centers, patients, and blood donors. Stakeholders who work at blood centers urge individuals to donate their blood. People can donate blood at blood banks, blood center, or hospitals. What has become the latest trend is that individuals will not go to these centers to donate blood as they live hectic lives. Therefore, these blood centers, such as the Red Cross or local hospitals have mobile blood centers where they usually go to organizations and have people donate blood when they are at work. This alternative allows these facilities to get a better outcome with blood donations by bringing the blood centers to a work place. In some countries, people go to the blood banks and pay cash for the blood that they need for themselves or even family members if the hospital is at a low (Deccan Chronicle, 2011).
The economic flow for blood is low. Currently, hospital and facilities are not receiving the amount of blood that they would get from their donors. Due to this, they have to seek from other sources to receive blood to continue to perform the services that are needed for their patients. Some hospitals seek a third party, such as the American Red Cross, in which they have to pay for the blood that they are being supplied with (Deccan Chronicle, 2011).
Being that the demand for blood is at a high, the supply for it is limited. There are many individuals that need blood transfusions because of accidents, illnesses, etc. Because everyone has different and rare blood types, it is difficult to get the amount of blood that is needed. Blood blanks, are not receiving the necessary blood donations that are needed to keep the supply up. The Federal Drug Administration has strict guidelines for blood donors in which this also affects the donations that blood banks and hospitals can receive. Some of the guidelines relate to individuals, who have tattoos within a certain time frame, people who have traveled out of the country, to say the least.
Due to the demand and supply for blood, this has affected the equilibrium price as some facilities do not produce as many donors and need to seek outside resources. These resources, such as blood banks and the American Red Cross supply these hospitals with the blood that is needed. The cost for the blood is based on what the current outside resource pays to obtain donations, test the blood, rental fees for their facility, etc (American Red Cross, 2011). Based on this, the quantity can be at times limited depending on how much blood the outside resource can intake from their donors.
Price elasticity is designed to measure the responsiveness of demand to a price change (Jacobs & Rapoport, 2004). Blood is inelastic as it will always be a need to everyone. No matter what the price increase is, it will have no effect on the supply. Due to this, blood banks can increase prices to facilities when the supply is needed, and the facilities can increase prices for services that are being provided for the patient.
Blood is an everlasting element that is needed for one to survive and remain healthy. No matter what the price is, individuals will pay for blood to continue to survive. Blood donations are a necessity, as they are needed for facilities to continue producing the services to their patients. Blood will continue to be scarce, as there is such a high need for it. No matter what the demand is for the supply, blood will remain inelastic.

References
American Red Cross. (2011, January). Blood Facts and Statistics. Retrieved from http://www.redbloodcross.org
Deccan Chronicle. (2011, February). Scarcity of blood supply hits surgeries in hospitals. Retrieved from http://www.deccanchronicle.com
International Society for Complexity, Information, and Design. (2005, March). Economic Scarcity. Retrieved from http://www.iscid.org
Jacobs, P., & Rapoport, J. (2004). The economics of health and medical care (5th ed.). Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett.
Rare Blood Types. (2010, December). Blood Donation Statistics. Retrieved from http://www.rarebloodtypes.info/blood-donation-statistics
Wikipedia. (2011, February). Blood. Retrieved from http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blood

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