September 10, 2002
By Elaine Armstrong
Albany- Some shelves at the Phoebe blood bank are almost empty in its five-day supply. "For two weeks we have not even had a fifth of what our supply usually is," admits Lorraine Smallwood.
Phoebe even has to share its declining supply with other South Georgia hospitals. They need O-negative and O-positive blood types the most. But they also need more platelet donors like Americus fireman Benny Barry who gives platelets every two weeks. "I can't do much for people as it is but every two weeks I can do something for at least two cancer patients," says Barry.
Officials say at least three other clotting agents are separated from donated blood -- something many patients need to prevent bleeding.
"I do know that supplies are way down. I wouldn't say anything definitely. If anything were to happen and we needed a lot of blood, I'm sure people in South Georgia would come out," says Red Cross recruiter Patsy McMath.
McMath says the Red Cross' need for blood is a national problem and she hopes the constant appeals won't keep people from giving.
According to the Red Cross, as long as you're at least seventeen, one-hundred and ten pounds and in good health you can donate blood.
Posted at 7:30 PM by Elaine Armstrong
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