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Storm leaves great need for blood

Dear Editor:

The effects of Hurricane Ivan are evident throughout our community. The physical evidence of downed trees, damaged homes and decreased services are well documented. There is one healthcare service that has also suffered in the aftermath of the hurricane. As of 4 p.m. today, United Blood Services in Meridian, which serves Marengo, Greene, Hale, Clark, Tuscaloosa, Fayette, Sumter and Pickens counties in West Alabama, along with other facilities in East Mississippi, was operating with less than one day’s supply of blood. The most critical shortage is in type O+ and O- blood. Of all hospital patients who will need blood, more than half will use type O.

Because residents have been spending much of their time away from work to repair the damage wrought by Ivan, donations after the hurricane have been down in communities served by United Blood Services. A blood drive sponsored by the BWWMH Auxiliary last week only brought in 39 units of blood, well below their goal.

In an effort to help assure that there is enough blood for our patients and others throughout the area, we will be sponsoring a blood drive on Thursday, October 7 from 1 to 5 p.m. in the classroom of the BWWMH Outpatient Service Center. We encourage all who are eligible to donate on that date, especially if they have type O blood. Your help in encouraging your readers to give the gift of life on October 7 will be greatly appreciated.

Mike Marshall

CEO/Administrator