The Red Cross considers a three-day supply the optimal amount of blood to have available for lifesaving transfusions and emergencies. As of the end of last month, local supplies of most blood types were below optimal levels, in some cases as low as 45 to 50 percent of the desired amount. While this and other area blood drives are expected to restore much of the depleted supplies, "we still continue to import smaller amounts of blood in order to keep our inventory to the necessary levels," Ms. Maiden said.
The shortage is most acute for type B positive, type A negative, type A positive, type O negative and type O positive.
Every weekday, the Red Cross must collect 1,750 pints of blood from donors in southeast Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey to meet local patient needs. Donated blood is used to provide transfusions for operations, accident victims, cancer patients, and others with life-threatening conditions.
The Red Cross hopes to obtain 60 pints of blood from Penn's spring blood drive, said Ms. Maiden. Donors will receive a home cholesterol-testing kit courtesy of Johnson & Johnson/Advance Care as a thank-you for participating.
Advance sign-up is currently taking place in offices across the campus, but walk-in donors will not be turned away. The drive will take place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Faculty Club, 200 S. 36th Street.
March 19, 1996
Volume 42 Number 24
Return to Almanac's homepage.
Return to the index for this issue.