Voice: Clarifications on blood donation article

October 17, 2001

I would like to thank the Imperial Valley Press for promoting the need for blood in the recent article titled "Local blood donations need a boost," and clarify several statements made in the story.

Several statistics were cited that were applicable to Southern California. For example, Southern California hospitals import approximately 40 percent of the blood needed for transfusion from blood centers located outside California. This did not mean to imply that blood received in El Centro is imported from out of the state. The citizens of the Imperial Valley have always been generous blood donors and local hospital patients should be assured that the American Red Cross is there to help ensure blood is there when needed.

The postponement of an organ transplant surgery was also discussed. Organ transplant surgery does not occur in the El Centro area and local transplant patients must travel to major medical centers outside the Imperial Valley to receive this lifesaving procedure. An organ transplant planned at a San Diego County hospital was recently postponed due to a lack of blood.


Also, while the article reported that 50 percent of surgeries had to be postponed because of a lack of blood, the story should have read that one hospital had to postpone 50 percent of surgeries on one day.

Finally, the article stated that prospective blood donors using antibiotics must wait 24 hours after taking the last dose before being eligible to donate blood. Actually, the waiting period is 48 hours.

The American Red Cross sincerely appreciates all of the financial and blood donations made by the citizens of Imperial County. For those wishing to make a financial contribution to the American Red Cross, please call 1-800-HELP-NOW.

For those who wish to donate blood, the American Red Cross encourages you to do so because the need for blood is ongoing and never ending. Together we can save a life.


Medical director

American Red Cross blood services

San Diego

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