Alabama blood supply dangerously low

Published 10:42 am Monday, June 20, 2005

By By Lee Weyhrich
Thursday's American Red Cross blood drive was relatively successful despite a major statewide shortage.
"Yesterday at our blood drive the number projected for donors was 25 or 26 registered to give, but 19 were accepted," Charlotte Boyle with the Red Cross said. "We do not have one days blood supply in the state of Alabama. We have what you call critically low supply."
Though she was happy with the number of people who attempted to donate she was disappointed with the overall results.
"We were pleased with the turnout over at the city hall," Boyle said. "Since the supply is so low we wish that everyone that could give would keep this in mind and try to give."
The Red Cross has not yet scheduled its next blood drive, but Boyle hopes the next drive will have a bigger turnout than this one.
"They can give every 56 days if eligible," Boyle said. "I'd like to encourage everyone that can give blood to donate."
To donate you must be at least 17 years old or older, but less than 65, weigh at least 110 pounds and you must be in good health. Donors are not supposed to donate blood at any other drive for at least 56 days after their last donation.
You can donate blood even if you have high blood pressure or take blood pressure medication. You can also donate if you are diabetic, have allergies or take allergy shots, or if you have recently had surgery and have been released by your doctor to give blood.
The Red Cross will ask questions to determine if you are a viable blood donor.
According to information provided by the Red Cross, blood may not be donated if you have cold or flu symptoms, take heart medication, have had hepatitis, have HIV or Aids, are pregnant or have recently been pregnant, or are taking antibiotics. If you have gone to a high-malaria risk country or have lived in the United Kingdom the Red Cross asks that you speak to an American Red Cross nurse before attempting to donate.

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