Blood Supply ‘Adequate’ in NY as Thousands Donate
Both the American Red Cross and America's Blood Centers said that blood supplies were "adequate to meet the immediate demand" in the wake of yesterday's attacks in New York and Washington, D.C. as thousands of Americans across the country "line[d] up" to donate blood, USA Today reports. "We're mobilizing to be open 24 hours a day, and we're shipping blood to New York and Washington," Red Cross spokesperson Chris Thomas said, adding, "We have 80,000 units in inventory and we will commit to meet any need anywhere"(Manning/Davis, USA Today, 9/12). NBC News Correspondent Martin Fletcher reported from Tel Aviv that hundreds of people in Israel also responded yesterday to the call to give blood. Donations will be flown with Israeli emergency rescue teams to the U.S. (Fletcher, NBC, 9/12). Public Radio International's "Marketplace" reports that because airports are closed nationwide, officials are "scrambling" to transport blood to where it is needed. "There is some blood in Florida, and we are going to have it driven to New York" ("Marketplace," NPR, 9/12). Red Cross Vice President Dr. Jerry Squires added, "We're working with the military in New York and New Jersey so we can get the blood in the appropriate hospitals" (Szekely/Boodhoo Reuters/Contra Costa Times, 9/12). Dr. Robert Jones, CEO and president of the New York Blood Center, said that the demand for blood in New York was "less than originally feared." Noting that blood donation lines stretched along city blocks, he said, "We have had a remarkable response to donate blood. We have pretty much maxed out the ability of the city to collect blood right now" (Altman, New York Times, 9/12).
At Fairfax, Va.-based Inova Hospital, more than 350 people had donated blood by mid-afternoon, with 100 staffers "work[ing] furiously to process" it. While testing and shipping of donated blood normally takes 24 to 48 hours, one group of workers at Inova-Fairfax worked to collect donations while another in the lab immediately tested and packaged the blood for shipping. "As soon as get it -- it goes out," Kristin Gross of the Inova Blood Donor Services said. Melissa McMillan of America's Blood Centers -- the nation's network of independent blood centers -- said donations from individuals with type O or type B were most needed in the short term (USA Today, 9/12). Type O blood is "universal," meaning it can be transfused into anyone regardless of blood type (Reuters/Contra Costa Times, 9/11). "If you're type A or A/B, save your blood and consider being a platelet donor, because we need platelets for burn victims. We need people to stagger their donations over the next two weeks," McMillan said (USA Today, 9/12).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.