Friday, December 28, 2001
Blood drive turnout good
Wednesday's blood drive at The Gathering Place in Peachtree City was a smashing success.
A total of 39 units were collected, making the drive one of a few since Thanksgiving that has exceeded its goal, according to Candice Gulden of the Blood Services Division of the American Red Cross.
"We need to have a number of blood drives like this one to meet the needs of Georgia for the holidays," Gulden said. "They met the goal and surpassed it."
The week between Christmas and New Year's Eve typically presents the highest demand on the state's blood supply.
The need for blood is even more crucial now, with supplies of the universal O-negative blood down to just a half-day's worth, Gulden added.
The Red Cross was flooded with a glut of blood donors immediately after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. But since Thanksgiving, donors have dwindled while the need for more blood has increased.
A unit of blood has a shelf life of just 42 days, so donors are constantly needed, Golden said. Donors can give blood every 56 days if they choose, she added.
The Red Cross encourages citizens to donate blood just twice a year. If all Georgians did that, the state's blood needs would be met annually, Gulden said.
Currently, Georgia has to import blood from other states to meet its needs, Gulden said.
The Red Cross also tries to make donating blood as safe as possible by using technicians whose only job is to draw blood from donors, Gulden added.