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Red Cross Issues Emergency Blood Appeal

By Mark Scott

Buffalo, NY – The American Red Cross is issuing an emergency appeal for blood donations.

Red Cross officials say there is just a day-and-a-half supply of blood available for hospitals in the New York-Pennsylvania region. Spokeswoman Marinanne Humphries said the shortage will have an effect on elective surgeries.

"We have notified our hospital customers that we know several of our blood types will be on medical approval periodically over the next few days," Humphries said. "We're recommending that they look at everything on a case-by-case basis and make decisions on elective surgery accordingly."

Humphries says there is a particular need for "O" positive and negative and "A" negative blood types. She says there was a sharp decline in blood donations in June. But Humphries says it's a time of the year when demand for blood is high.

"In Western New York over the weekend, we had a few cases in which patients used large quantities of blood," Humphries said. "We need to make sure that other patients who might need blood will have it available."

Humphries says all blood donation sites in the Buffalo area will be open extra hours this week and will even be open next Sunday.