Blood drive aims to help with holiday shortage

Hospital officials say they especially need O-positive and O-negative blood donations / Sarah Bleau

The holiday season is a slow time for blood donations at the Red Cross because people are busy with other plans, so Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital helped through a blood drive on Wednesday.

The hospital had a goal to collect 100 units of blood; within three hours they say they had half of that.

Phoebe's Blood Bank Manager Dian Swafford says one donation can help three patients.

"They can break it into the red cell portion, the plasma and they can make cryoprecipitate from it and some units they also pull the platelets off it and give those separately," says Swafford.

Swafford says 45 percent of their blood goes to help cancer patients who depend on red cells and platelets to get through therapy. For this reason and also for helping the babies who are at the hospital, shesays they especially need O-positive and O-negative blood types.

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