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Honoring Those Who Help Make Blood Safe and Available
Date:9/10/2009

LAKE ZURICH, Ill. and BETHESDA, Md., Sept. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Medical professionals know that long holiday weekends like Labor Day in the United States often require extra work by blood collectors before and after the holiday to assure adequate supplies of safe, donated blood are on hospital shelves to meet the needs of patients.

Blood collection professionals will be recognized in communities worldwide September 13-19, 2009, as part of the 5th Annual Blood Collectors Week, sponsored jointly by Fenwal, Inc. and AABB (formerly known as the American Association of Blood Banks). During the week, blood centers across the country will host celebrations, often with local government officials, to recognize their staffs and donors. Individuals are encouraged to give back to their respective communities and honor these professionals by contacting their local blood collection facility to schedule an appointment to donate blood.

"Blood collectors play a vital role within the transfusion medicine community as they are charged with making every effort to provide a positive experience for the blood donor," said Karen Shoos Lipton, chief executive officer of AABB. "In doing so, these professionals are helping to ensure that blood is readily available to patients whenever and wherever it is needed."

According to AABB, approximately 30 million blood components are transfused annually in the United States. Blood transfusions are a critical component in the treatment of patients with serious medical conditions, from cancer to major surgery, as well as accident and trauma victims. One in 10 individuals admitted to the hospital require a transfusion. People typically receive transfusions of red blood cells, platelets or plasma, with red blood cells representing the most frequently needed blood component.

"Blood is medicine's most vital natural resource," said Ron Labrum,
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SOURCE Fenwal, Inc.; AABB
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