Red Cross seeks blood donations

February 20, 2003|by MARLO BARNHART

As if the normal wintertime drop-off in the number of blood donors wasn't enough, the weekend snowstorm forced the cancellation of American Red Cross bloodmobiles, further compromising already short supplies of blood.

"We lost more than 800 units of blood throughout the Johnstown region because of the snowstorm," said Teresa Elwood, blood service chairman for the Washington County chapter of the Red Cross.

The local chapter and much of the Tri-State area are part of the region headquartered in Johnstown, Pa., Elwood said Tuesday as she left a regularly scheduled bloodmobile at the Roxbury Correctional Institution south of Hagerstown.


Because of the shortages, area residents are being asked to make a special effort today to attend one of four bloodmobiles open to the public in the Washington County area, Elwood said.

They are:

  • Washington County Administrative Annex Building at 80 W. Baltimore St., 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

  • Robinwood Medical Center, 1st floor conference room, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

  • Hagerstown Community College, student center, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

  • Valley Mall, community room, noon to 6 p.m.

  • On Friday, Western Maryland Hospital Center will host an open bloodmobile from noon to 5 p.m.

  • Next week, public bloodmobiles are scheduled for Feb. 24 from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Funkstown American Legion, and on Feb. 26 from noon to 6 p.m. at the Valley Mall community room.

"I know people are probably tired from all the digging out but this would be a really good time to give something very valuable to their community," Elwood said.

All types of blood are needed and no appointments are necessary, she said.

"Please come out and help us," Elwood urged.

In order to donate blood, one should be in generally good health, at least 17 years of age (16 with parental consent), weigh no less than 110 pounds, have had no new tattoos within the past year, and have not donated whole blood within the past 56 days (eight weeks).

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