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Red Cross Seeks to End Blood Shortage

January 16, 1998|JOHN CANALIS

The American Red Cross needs blood donations in response to a critical shortage in Southern California and nationwide.

Types B and O are desperately needed.

Red Cross has less than 1% of the desired inventory of O-positive and O-negative, 40% of B-positive, 5% of B-negative and 12% of A-negative.

Blood donations decrease about 50% over the holidays. Since Christmas and New Year's Day fell on Thursdays, fewer people gave blood over the long weekends, Red Cross officials said.

Numerous cases of the flu and colds haven't helped. Donors need to be healthy when they give blood. They must be at least 17, weigh more than 110 pounds and be free of risk for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

The agency did not know of any medical procedures canceled due to the shortages.

To donate: (800) GIVE-LIFE.

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