Tuesday, August 14, 2001

Hoxworth declares blood emergency


Corporate drives not bringing in expected units

By Tim Bonfield
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The Hoxworth Blood Center has declared its second emergency blood donor appeal of the summer.

        The blood bank, which supplies 24 hospitals in 14 Tristate counties, reports that supplies of type O blood are running about 53 percent below normal. Type A supplies also are short.

        As a result, five of Hoxworth's seven neighborhood donor centers will open an hour earlier than normal today through Thursday. The blood bank also is hoping for a strong turnout Sunday during the “HOPE worldwide” blood drive scheduled at the Albert B. Sabin Cincinnati Convention Center, sponsored by the International Churches of Christ.

        The latest blood supply problem traces primarily to a dip in donors giving during corporate blood drives, which Hoxworth officials say have been hurt by layoffs and cutbacks. Three workplace blood drives that were scheduled for Monday were canceled over the weekend.

        “There's a lot of apathy and low morale affecting turnout,” said Hoxworth spokesman Michael Anderson. “We're getting as few as seven units from some companies that normally generate 20 to 25 units.”

        Since July 1, the number of donors at corporate blood drives has dropped about 6 percent from the same period last year. Corporate drives are important in the summer because high schools, which account for 10 to 12 percent of total donations, are not in session, Mr. Anderson said.

        The August emergency appeal involves different factors than one declared earlier this summer. In June, blood supplies were drained in part by a rash of local shootings and in part by a tropical storm in Houston that affected blood supplies nationwide.

        Hoxworth has not needed to ask doctors to delay elective surgeries. That would be one of the next steps if the emergency appeal doesn't erase the shortfall.

        For information about donating blood or neighborhood donor center hours, call Hoxworth at 451-0910. For information about the HOPE worldwide drive, call 984-6750.

       

       



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