Hospital says blood in short supply

June 22, 2000|By MARLO BARNHART

It happens every summer: The need for blood is up and the supply of blood is down.

At Washington County Hospital, Linda Seiple, technical specialist in transfusion services, said all blood types are in very short supply and the amount of O-positive blood available is the worst she's ever seen it.

"One day last week, we were down to eight units of O-positive blood, total," Seiple said. "One trauma case could use 20 units alone."

While summer is always a lean season for blood donations, Seiple said this year it started earlier than usual.

One factor is that schools and colleges are closed for summer vacation. Traditionally, about one-fifth of all blood donations come from those two sources.


An emergency appeal began June 19 and will last through the Fourth of July week at the very minimum, according to Ted Mazza, manager of blood services for the Greater Alleghenies Region which serves the Tri-State area.

"We are currently unable to meet hospital needs for all blood types," Mazza said.

Seiple said WCH gets all of its blood from Johnstown, Pa., home office for the region. But there is only so much to go around.

"Thursday, we ordered 32 pints ... we got three," Seiple said. "We get deliveries of blood every day but Saturdays."

Last week, the medical staff at the hospital was notified of the crisis. So far, no elective surgeries have had to be rescheduled but that will be the next step, Seiple said.

All area residents who are at least 17 years old, weigh at least 105 pounds and who are in reasonably good health are urged to give blood at one of the following bloodmobiles, according to Tina Stover at the American Red Cross office in Hagerstown.

Monday, June 26 - Shepherdstown Fire Hall, W.Va. 45, Shepherdstown, W.Va., 2 to 7 p.m.

Monday, June 26 - Funkstown American Legion, Funkstown, 1 to 7 p.m.

Tuesday, June 27 - Leetown United Methodist Church, Leetown, W.Va. 2 to 7 p.m.

Wednesday, June 28 - Western Maryland Hospital, auditorium, 1500 Pennsylvania Ave., Hagerstown, noon to 5 p.m.

Friday, June 30 - City Hospital, eighth floor classroom, Dry Run Road, Martinsburg, W.Va. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Friday, June 30 - Valley Mall, Community Room, 17301 Valley Mall Road, Hagerstown, noon to 6 p.m.

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