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Blood banks critically short as donations drop sharply

Date Posted: 2007-12-23

“We don’t have enough blood. If an accident happened now, hospitals can’t take care of patients.”
That’s the scary word this week from the director of the Red Cross Blood Center on Okinawa. Blood donations have been drying up, while demand is increasing, leaving blood bank shelves short of needs. “The balance is bad,” says the director. “There are too many sick people, and too many people needing blood, but not too many people donating.”
O type blood is most critically short, with only 25% of needed supplies on hand. A type blood has only 47% of necessary levels, while B blood type is at 54% of requirements. Red Cross Blood Center officials say all blood types, except B, are at crisis levels. “It’s coming to the end of the year, and the new year always brings more sick people, so we need more blood than usual,” says the Center director.
More people are getting sick, the director says, and more operations requiring blood transfusions are taking place. Blood donations have dropped more than 464,000 from October, forcing the Blood Center to request blood from other prefectures.
The Red Cross Blood Center is making an appeal for donors. “I hope people will think about helping people survive by making a blood donation,” the director says.

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