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IV Blood Services asking donors to wait

September 20, 2001

Imperial Valley Blood Services has been inundated with donors in the wake of last week's attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, but because blood has a shelf life of just 35 to 42 days blood bank officials are asking many prospective donors to wait.

"We need to pace the amount of blood coming in," said blood drive coordinator Trish Burich-McNeece. "The last thing we want to have to do is throw blood away because we had too much and it expired before we could use it. Right now we are at capacity in all blood types."

Blood drives are scheduled this week at the County Sheriff's Office, U.S. Border Patrol and Government Agencies Federal Credit Union. Employees of those entities are encouraged to give but the blood bank is asking everyone else to wait.

There are many drives coming in October and November.

"Blood will be needed then, as much if not more, to get through the long Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays," said Burich-McNeece. "I respectfully ask you to wait."

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The next open-to-the-public blood drive will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 4 at Sears department store in the El Centro Center.

Burich-McNeece said Imperial Valley residents "are the best."

"Please remember that there is no substitute for human blood," she added. "Patients locally need blood 365 days a year. If this kind of enthusiasm toward donating blood occurred year-round, there would never be the severe shortages the blood bank often faces."

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