From "A" positive to "O" negative to "AB" positive and so on, the story is the same; the shelves are literally EMPTY.
In fact, United Blood Service officials say the shortage is so bad that one local hospital has requested six pints of blood for a heart surgery, however all they have to send is three pints.
"This is serious!" says UBS spokeswoman Susan Morris. "If we don't get enough blood, our hospitals will be put in a position where they can't reach their surgical requirements and they'll have to cancel surgeries."
Stacks of paper referred to as "wish lists" represent the blood unit request for the 50 hospitals in East Mississippi and West Alabama that are served by UBS's Meridian office. Each sheet represents one hospital. The hospital's request can amount up to 150 pints of blood or more. However, with the shelves now empty those requests cannot be met.
"When we don't collect enough units of blood people die!" says Morris. "We've never lost a patient but we've come very close and it would be such a shame to lose someone near and dear to us because there's no blood on the shelves. I don't know if I could sleep well knowing that I had failed in that mission. If everyone who is eligible to give would just give twice a year, we'd never have a blood shortage again."
10 Reasons to Donate Blood
- Blood transfusions save lives.
- There is no substitute for human blood.
- Every three seconds, someone needs a blood transfusion.
- About 60 percent of the population are eligible to donate blood, yet less than five percent do.
- A pint of blood, separated in to components, can help up to three people.
- You will make your community a safer place.
- Fulfills your desire to "give back" to the community.
- You will receive a mini physical (blood pressure, temperature, iron level).
- You will learn your blood type.
- It is safe, simple and it saves lives.
Who Can Donate Blood?
- Anyone who is in good health,
- At least 17 years old (persons 16 may donate with a Blood Program consent form signed by a legal guardian),
- Weighs at least 110 pounds
Source: http://188.8.131.52/donating/blood.htm (Blood Centers of the Pacific Web Site)
If you would like to donate blood or help with the donation process, visit your local American Red Cross