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August 07, 2003

Type 0 Blood Donors Needed Badly!

The Armed Services Blood Program desperately needs eligible Type O blood donors to support ongoing US Military operations worldwide and to replenish the military's frozen blood reserves.

"Type O donors are the first line of defense for trauma victims. Until a blood type can be verified, Type O blood is used to keep trauma victims alive," said Air Force Lt. Col. Ruth Sylvester, Armed Services Blood Program director. "Once their blood type is determined, type-specific blood is transfused. But without Type O blood available, many patients would never make it until the test results came back."

A single battlefield injury victim can require more than 40 units of blood in an emergency. Type O donors are especially important to readiness because their blood can be transfused safely for all blood types, especially in remote areas where it's not possible to test for blood type.

The Armed Services Blood Program also needs Type O blood to maintain its frozen blood reserve. The US Military maintains a supply of frozen red blood cells to use when fresh blood is not immediately available. Since frozen blood can be safely stored for up to 10 years, it ensures that blood is always readily available to meet the military's needs worldwide.

Some confusion exists over who is able to donate. While many who have been in Europe for extended periods of time are currently not eligible to donate due to concerns about transmission of variant Creutzfeldt-Jacob Disease, travel to Europe for shorter periods of time doesn't necessarily exclude a person from donating. Information explaining donor eligibility is available here.

Those who would like to donate or need to ask additional questions about eligibility should contact their local blood donor center.

Posted in War on Terrorism by usrbingeek at 2003-08-07 14:46 ET (GMT-5) | 0 Comments | Permalink


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