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Published: Wednesday, 12/27/2006

Area facing critical blood shortage

BLADE STAFF

The American Red Cross Western Lake Erie Region today issued a desperate call for blood donors, particularly those with O-negative blood that is the universal blood type used in most hospital trauma situations.

Only three units of O-negative blood were available this morning for the 23 area hospitals it ships to, the Red Cross said. O-positive and A-negative blood supplies also stood at a half-day or less.

While donations typically slow down during the holiday season, the Red Cross reports that this year has been "exceptionally brutal" and the region is 600 units of blood behind in collections.

"Our inventory will further shrink as we go into the New Year unless more individuals immediately take action and donate," said Kathy Smith, director of donor services for the region.

To donate blood, you must be age 17 or older, weigh at least 110 pounds, and be in general good health. You must present a valid photo ID at donation.

The region's Blood Donor Center at 3510 Executive Pkwy. in Toledo will be open today and tomorrow from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Friday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will also be mobile blood donations taken at various locations beginning today and continuing to Saturday.

For information on locations call the Red Cross at 1-800-448-3543 or visit www.givebloodtoday.org.

Read more in later editions of The Blade and toledoblade.com.



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