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Blood shortage nears crisis proportions

By By Sharon White/The Meridian Star
Dec. 10, 2000
When a Meridian patient required blood for surgery last week, officials at United Blood Services were forced to fill the order from out-of-town sources.
And if blood donations don't increase soon, getting what is needed might end up costing more than a trip out-of-town.
Smith said although all blood types are currently in short supply, there is a dire need for blood platelets n the clotting factor of blood that is essential for cancer treatment n and O positive and O negative blood.
Smith said with the holidays at hand, the shortage could easily turn into a critical situation.
She said while recent blood drives sponsored by community businesses have been helpful, they have not been enough to eliminate a crisis.
A four-hour drive held Saturday at Queen City Truck Stop/Magnolia Restaurant attracted 10 donors, whose blood, when broken down, will provide 30 components and could possibly help 30 patients, said Nancy Breckenridge, donor care specialist at UBS.
An upcoming five-day stretch where not a single blood drive is scheduled is also expected to put a strain on UBS.
The next drive scheduled in Meridian is set for Monday at Meridian High School, where personnel with UBS' blood mobile will be asking for help from students, parents, staff and facility members. Peavey Electronics will also open its doors to UBS Wednesday through Friday, and Smith said she is hoping these two drives will be enough to get local patients through the week.
Other drives scheduled for the near future include a drive at Jeff Anderson Regional Medical Center. The drive will be held Dec. 18 from 10 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. in the private dining room near the hospital's cafeteria.
On Dec. 28 from noon until 7 p.m., WTOK-TV will hold its forth annual "Mash Bash." The blood drive, named after the long-running television series MASH, is open to the public.
Sharon White is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail her at swhite@themeridianstar.com.

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