Friday, January 22, 2010

Current U.S. Blood Supply is Adequate to Handle Demands Resulting from Earthquake in Haiti

Editor's Note: Are you wanting a way to donate to assist those recently affected by disaster, but your funds are low? Think about giving a pint of blood. It just could save a life.

/PRNewswire/ -- The AABB Interorganizational Task Force on Domestic Disasters and Acts of Terrorism has determined that the current blood supply in the United States is adequate to fill any requests received to support the present needs of Haitian hospitals, though ongoing infrastructure and transportation issues in Haiti could delay receipt of those supplies to patients. To help ensure that the U.S. blood supply remains adequate, the task force recommends that people wanting to donate call their local blood donation centers to schedule an appointment for the coming weeks and months, especially eligible donors who are Type O-negative. The task force will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates if blood needs change.

"U.S. blood banks have enough blood to meet the immediate medical needs of Haiti earthquake victims," said Dale Malloy, chairman of the task force. "We are in contact with health care organizations in Haiti, and task force members are diligently working to overcome the logistical challenges to ensure that vital, yet perishable, blood products reach the patients in Haiti."

Individuals with Type O blood are "universal" donors and should schedule a blood donation appointment as soon as possible. Type O blood is the only blood type that can be safely transfused to patients with other blood types, and therefore is frequently used in emergency situations. The task force applauds those wishing to help and encourages all eligible individuals to give blood regularly, as this helps ensure that blood is readily available whenever and wherever it is needed.

Those interested in donating blood may contact the following organizations to find a local blood collection site and to schedule an appointment:

-- AABB:; +1.301.215.6526
-- America's Blood Centers:; +1.888.USBLOOD
-- American Red Cross:; +1.800.RED CROSS
-- Armed Services Blood Program:;

The task force was formed in January 2002 to help make certain that blood collection efforts resulting from domestic disasters and acts of terrorism are managed properly and to deliver clear and consistent messages to the public regarding the status of America's blood supply. The task force is composed of representatives from U.S. blood services, associations and commercial entities, as well as liaisons from governmental agencies, who work together in an effort to ensure that safe and adequate blood product inventories are in place at all times in preparation for disasters such as the recent event in Haiti. In addition, the task force operates as a mechanism to assess the need for collections and/or transportation of blood should a disaster occur.

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