Red Cross freezes blood disbursement - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Red Cross freezes blood disbursement

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January 31, 2003

Albany-- Nearly 200 pints of blood at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital can't be used.

In fact, potentially contaminated blood is quarantined throughout Georgia. Georgia hospitals had to cancel surgeries Friday because the Red Cross quarantined blood. Workers at the Red Cross Regional Blood Center in Atlanta found mysterious white particles in some blood units.

Late Thursday night and early Friday morning, the Red Cross notified all Georgia hospitals not to use blood they've gotten recently from the center.

Doctors say the problem creates an even greater need for blood donations. "This is doubly difficult for us at this time,” said Phoebe Putney Medical Lab Director Dr. Mark Burns. “We are still suffering from the post-holiday blood shortage that happens annually."

Phoebe Putney had to cancel one elective surgery Friday, but doctors say they have enough safe blood to handle emergencies.

They're getting fresh blood deliveries from other blood centers around the country, and should be back to normal by Monday.

posted at 4:55PM by dave.miller@walb.com