Red Cross blood supply perilously low


A dangerously low blood supply in the Baltimore metropolitan area has the American Red Cross worried that it may not have enough to meet hospital needs during the Fourth of July holiday.

"We tend to have blood shortages every summer," said Linda Klein, of the Red Cross, "but this is the first summer in two years that an all-out public appeal for blood donors has been necessary in the Baltimore metropolitan area."

According to the Red Cross, the situation is critical for type "O" and type "B" blood.

Klein said two reasons for the shortage are the unexpected cancellation of several large high school drives in May because of outbreaks of measles and mumps and a decline in donor participation at companies hard-hit by the recession.

The Red Cross has less than a single day's supply of blood. The organization needs to collect 1,500 units of blood daily to service hospitals in Maryland.

For information on donating blood, call the Red Cross at (1-800-) 272-0024.

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