Red Cross needs blood donors now


CLEVELAND — Red Cross officials in the Northern Ohio Blood Services Region say blood supplies are dangerously low, with only about one-half day’s supply of types O negative and positive on hand.

The minimum inventory standard for three days of type O positive is 1,176 pints. Today, 200 pints were available. The minimum inventory standard for three days for type O negative is 309 pints. A total of 49 pints were available today.

The Red Cross also was below standard inventory minimums for type B negative and type AB negative today.

“We have about a day supply, when we really need three days,” said Karen Kelley, regional communications and marketing manager.

On Monday, the Northern Ohio Region, which serves 57 hospitals in 19 counties, received blood from donors in the Columbus and Toledo areas to help abate the shortage, she said.

Kelley added that platelets, a component of blood used to help treat cancer patients for example, are also below minimum inventory standards.

“Those numbers are very disturbing, all the more so when you consider that every pint of blood or platelets represents a person whose life or well-being is in jeopardy,” Kelley said.

“We are in the process of telephoning blood donors and posting blood emergency signs throughout the community.  We are urging everyone who is able to give blood to do so as soon as possible.  If you have never donated blood, now is the time to try,” she said.

Blood donors must be at least 17, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in general good   health.  Whole blood may be donated every 56 days. For more information call the Red Cross at (800) 448-3543.

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