A desperate need for blood donors - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

A desperate need for blood donors

January 6, 2003

Albany - Southwest Georgia's blood supply is dangerously low. The Red Cross is completely out of the universal blood type, O negative. An increase need for blood during the holidays and a decrease in donors has the Red Cross and hospitals worrying that blood won't be available if you need it.

Empty shelves shows just how desperately South Georgia needs blood and plasma donors. "The blood shortage is very severe. All the hospitals in our area are running low on all types of blood," said Red Cross Supervisor Dian Swafford.

Swafford makes sure the 13 hospitals in Southwest Georgia get the blood they need. "After we distribute the requested blood to hospitals, we have absolutely none left at the blood bank. We have no O-negative at all."

O-negative is the universal donor and is used for emergency surgeries. Palmyra and Phoebe Putney hospitals are low on blood, but so far they haven't had to cancel any surgeries."We need several hundred people to donate blood just to bring the hospitals to half stock," said Swafford. Both hospitals rely solely on the Red Cross for blood.

The Southwest Georgia Red Cross, on Dawson Road, is extending its hour during the emergency donor appeal. You can give between 11 to 8 pm on Monday through Wednesday. And, from 8 to 4 pm on Thursday and Friday.

Posted at 5:40PM by kathryn.murchison@walb.com