Ongoing donations of blood requested

People who thought about delaying their blood donations for later are asked by Red Cross officials to give as soon as possible.
Red Cross offices in the Mahoning Valley were besieged this morning with calls from people frightened for the safety of friends and relatives, wanting to know what to do if an attack occurred here, and offering help.
The phone has been ringing off the hook, said Tim Settles, director of emergency services with the Red Cross' Warren Chapter.
Settles said Red Cross chapters nationwide are on standby, and about 30 people associated with the Warren Chapter have been alerted in case they are needed for disaster services such as feeding, sheltering and counseling victims.
Mike Cook of the American Red Cross in Cleveland said the American Red Cross national headquarters is coordinating the support for New York City.
Cook said there is a one- to two-day supply of blood in the national inventory, and emphasized that the need for blood will be ongoing and continuous.
"For that reason, we ask people to consider donating blood over the next several days, rather than assuming they must donate right now," he said.
Another reason continuous donations are needed is that a component of blood -- platelets -- expire after five days. This emphasizes the fact that donations must be ongoing, Cook said.
Additionally, the Red Cross is asking people who have never donated before to consider donating blood in the days and weeks to come.
Blood drives: Cook said people should call (800) GIVE LIFE for information on blood drives in their areas.
The Warren Chapter, 661 Mahoning Ave. N.W., has scheduled a special blood collection from 1 to 7 p.m. Sept. 18 as a direct response to the terrorist attacks this morning, Jackie Wolf, director of development and marketing said.
She asked that people not call the Red Cross for information about friends and relatives or even to offer help at this point. She asked that they use conventional methods, such as the telephone or computer, to get information about friends and relatives.
She said the Red Cross is grateful for all who want to help, but asked them to "sit tight" for the time being. "When we need help, we will make a plea," Wolf said.

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