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Blood Services issues emergency call for blood

By By Penny Randall / staff writer
March 18, 2004
A blood shortage in Meridian became so severe Wednesday that three patients' lives were threatened during surgery and a fourth patient's surgery was temporarily delayed.
United Blood Services spokesperson Susan Morris said the three patients finished surgery and were in stable condition late Wednesday. The fourth also completed surgery, she said, but she didn't know the condition.
All four surgeries took place after enough blood specifically O-positive and O-negative types was found.
UBS nevertheless issued an emergency appeal to the public on Wednesday for O-positive and O-negative blood. Morris said that all other types of blood also are needed.
Morris said the patients whose lives were threatened this week by the blood shortage included three at Jeff Anderson Regional Medical Center and one at Rush Foundation Hospital.
Representatives at both hospitals, however, cited federal privacy laws and declined to say whether the patients Morris referred to were at their hospitals. But, they said, the blood shortage is serious.
The UBS office in Meridian provides blood for JARMC, Rush and Riley Hospital in the city as well as 50 others in counties across the state.
All blood donors, including those for O-positive and O-negative, can give blood at UBS' 1115 25th Ave. office in Meridian which is open until 6 p.m. today and 4 p.m. Friday.
Morris added the Meridian office is short 200 units of O-negative blood, a need that continues to grow.