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M. D. Anderson Blood Supply in Shortage

M. D. Anderson Blood Supply in Shortage
Blood Bank to Extend Hours of Operation

M. D. Anderson News Release 06/05/02

Blood supply at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center is in dire shortage, resulting in the cancellation of two selected surgeries on Wednesday, June 5, 2002.

"The situation has reached a critical point for M. D. Anderson and other medical institutions within the region," said Dr. Benjamin Lichtiger, Chairman of the Department of Laboratory Medicine. "Our supply of O positive and O negative - the universal blood types - has decreased to a critical level. For the safety of our patients, we had to cancel two surgeries for patients with Blood Type O until there is enough supply for all those who may need blood."

In an effort to curtail the problem immediately, the M. D. Anderson Blood Bank has extended its hours of operation, beginning Wednesday, June 5.  Monday through Friday, prospective blood donors can visit the M. D. Anderson Blood Bank, 7000 Fannin St., from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Weekend hours are 8 a.m.-4 p.m.

Dr. Lichtiger sees the shortage as a problem continuing beyond the immediate future because blood bank levels tend to drop around holidays.

"With July 4 around the corner, we need to think beyond this immediate call for blood and ask that companies and civic organizations that can host our mobile donor van, please do so."

Donors must be at least 17 years old (photo identification required), weigh a minimum of 110 pounds, be in good overall health and have eaten a substantial meal within four hours of donating blood. For more information regarding other donor requirements and/or to sponsor M. D. Anderson's donor van, call (713) 792-7777. For more information, visit the M. D. Anderson website.


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