war in iraq


Memorial Blood Centers to provide blood to the military

January 30, 2003

MINNEAPOLIS, Jan. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Memorial Blood Centers announced today that it is part of a national agreement between the US military and America's Blood Centers, a network of community blood centers that collects nearly half of the nation's blood supply. Memorial Blood Centers is a member of America's Blood Centers. The agreement with the United States Department of Defense will supplement the military's blood supply during wartime, if and when additional blood is needed.

With the prospect of a war with Iraq, the military developed this agreement to ensure all blood needs would be met. While the military collects its own blood and relies foremost on that blood for its troops, when requested, America's Blood Centers' members will fulfill part of the military blood needs not met by those sources.

Once the military requests blood, pre-assigned member "hub centers" will be alerted and will send blood to a designated military location. Memorial Blood Centers would then ship replacement blood to the hubs in readiness for further requests for blood. "Memorial Blood Centers will use its best efforts to help ensure that the military's needs are fulfilled by recruiting people to donate not only for their local communities, which always need blood, but also for the men and women who are serving our country," said Dr. Jed Gorlin, Vice President of Medical and Quality Affairs for Memorial Blood Centers.

"While the military collects much of the blood that supports our troops, we still depend on backup from civilian sources, especially in times of major conflicts. We hope civilians will rise to the call of duty, to help both their military troops and other civilians who need blood," said Colonel Michael Fitzpatrick, Director of the Armed Services Blood Program Office.

"We need donors to come in regularly, since we do not know when the military call may come. Blood is needed everyday -- not just in times of disaster or military action. Let's make sure blood is on the shelves at all times so we're prepared for anything. It is the blood on the shelf that saves lives," said Gorlin.

Red blood cells have a 42-day shelf life and platelets only 5 days, so the supply must constantly be replaced. People can donate blood every 56 days, or every eight weeks -- up to six times annually.

Source: Memorial Blood Centers


war in iraq