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Local Blood Supply at Low Levels
Date:6/24/2008

DETROIT, June 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Southeastern Michigan Blood Services Region of the American Red Cross is facing alarmingly low blood levels and is struggling to meet the requests of local hospitals. The morning began with five of the eight blood types below minimum inventory standards. Currently there is zero O-, the universal blood type. In order to meet the needs of patients in 43 local hospitals, the Region should maintain a minimum three-day supply of all eight blood types.

The need for blood is surpassing those who are coming to donate and with the 4th of July holiday quickly approaching, the Red Cross wants to be prepared. In the summer it becomes more difficult to reach blood donors with schools not in session and families traveling on vacation.

Neighboring Red Cross Regions in Cleveland, Columbus, Fort Wayne, Lansing, and Toledo are also experiencing low blood supply levels. This causes concern since these Regions are often called upon when the Southeastern Michigan Region needs assistance.

"It is important that we have blood available to meet the needs of our local hospitals at any given time. We also need to be ready for any situations that may arise. When blood levels decrease like we are experiencing, it becomes difficult to be prepared," states Diane Ward, CEO.

Platelets, a component of blood used to help cancer patients, for example, are also needed. Platelets must be transfused within five days of collection and the Red Cross depends on dedicated donors to continuously replenish the supply.

Eligible blood and platelet donors are asked to call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE or visit givelife.org to find a drive. Blood donors must be at least 17 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds, be in general good health and present a valid state-issued photo ID or Red Cross donor card upon donation.


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SOURCE American Red Cross, Southeastern Michigan Blood ServicesRegion
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