Blood Donors Needed in Wake of Train Derailment

LOS ANGELES, CA (09/13/2008)(readMedia)-- The American Red Cross is issuing an urgent appeal for blood donations. Blood supplies continue to dwindle as the Red Cross helps meet the immediate and future blood needs of those injured in Friday's train derailment and works to replenish our community's blood supply.

In response to yesterday's fatal Metrolink commuter accident with multiple deaths and injuries, the Red Cross sent additional units of blood and blood products to local hospitals and trauma centers. Blood donations are now urgently needed to replace the blood being sent to hospitals in response to this incident.

According to American Red Cross Blood Services, Southern California Chief Executive Officer Charles E Wilcox, "Type O blood is especially needed because it is the universal blood type. In an emergency, such as this incident, O negative blood is given when a patient's blood type is not known and the patient needs an immediate transfusion."

The blood center is asking all eligible individuals to donate blood now. Those involved in auto and train accidents often need large quantities of blood to help treat their injuries.

Any healthy person age 17 years or older (age 16 years when accompanied by a parent) and weighing at least 110 pounds may be eligible to donate. Eligible donors are asked to call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE (1-800-448-3543) or visit to schedule an appointment to donate blood at a nearby donor center. For Spanish call 1-866-POR-VIDA (1-866-767-8432.

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