A five-day inventory of all blood types is ideal, according to American Red Cross standards.
Area hospitals, especially trauma centers like Washington County Hospital, need O-negative blood, which is the universal blood type and can be transfused into all patients.
Similarly, O-positive blood can be transfused to all Rh-positive patients.
"We have had to go get blood from Johnstown, Pa." at times, said Dr. Tom Gilbert, chairman of emergency medicine at Washington County Hospital. "It comes by helicopter, if the weather permits, but we would have to wait for hours."
Because of post-donation review of records and infectious disease screenings, between 36 to 48 hours elapse from time of donation until blood can be released to more than 100 hospitals - including Washington County Hospital - served by the Red Cross Greater Alleghenies region.
Kline said a hospital's supply of a particular blood type could be wiped out by one patient.
Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs a blood transfusion. In the Greater Alleghenies Region, at least 1,050 units must be collected each weekday to meet the need.
Potential blood donors must be at last 17 years old, weigh at least 105 pounds and be in generally good health. Normally, people can give blood every 56 days.
The bloodmobile will be at the following locations:
- The Valley Mall in Hagerstown, today, noon to 6 p.m.
- The Quad Graphics computer classroom in Martinsburg, W.Va., Thursday, noon to 6 p.m.
- The Smithsburg Fire Hall, Monday, 1 to 7 p.m.
For more information call 1-800-732-0382.