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American Red Cross Honors Blood Collection Professionals During Blood Collectors Week 2007
Date:9/17/2007

WASHINGTON, Sept. 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- During the week of September 16-22, the American Red Cross will join other blood centers across the country in celebrating Blood Collectors Week, sponsored by AABB and Fenwal Blood Technologies. This annual recognition highlights the critical role blood collectors serve in helping to ensure blood is available to patients in need.

During this special week, the Red Cross honors its blood collection staff for their role in educating donors and helping to ensure a safe and comfortable donation experience. Blood collection professionals help facilitate either a whole blood or apheresis donation. In a whole blood donation, a pint of blood is collected and then divided into its therapeutic components for transfusion. With an apheresis donation, a donor gives a specific therapeutic component--platelets, plasma or red blood cells. Red blood cells represent the blood component in highest demand with about 14 million units transfused annually.

"The dedicated work of our blood collectors across the country is absolutely critical to our life-saving mission," said Mark W. Everson, President and CEO, American Red Cross. "As the nation's largest supplier of blood and blood products, we are committed to keeping our blood supply safe and providing the most efficient, consumer-friendly service possible to our donors."

Each year, the Red Cross collects approximately 6.5 million units of blood, from roughly 4.5 million volunteer blood donors. From these donations, the Red Cross distributes around 9.5 million blood products each year, including 6 million red blood cells, to patients at approximately 3,000 hospitals and transfusion centers across the country. This work is accomplished through the organization's national network, comprised of 9 divisions and 36 Blood Services regions.

Blood products are routinely transfused to those with cancer and other diseases, organ transplant recipients, and accident an
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SOURCE American Red Cross
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