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DoD Asks Troop Donors to Pace Their Blood Donations

By Sgt. 1st Class Kathleen T. Rhem, USA
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 28, 2001 – Troops wishing to give blood shouldn't be surprised if the donor center asks them to come back in a week or two.

"That just means we're trying to make sure there's a steady supply of blood available if we need it," said Col. Michael Fitzpatrick, director of the Armed Services Blood Program Office. Fresh blood products can be used for 42 days after collection, but individuals can only donate blood every 56 days.

So, he said, an installation that holds a massive blood drive on one day could be in trouble if it needs large amounts of blood six to eight weeks later. Service blood program officers and installations try to prevent such problems by pacing collections.

"Right now, there's no need for a lot of additional blood," Fitzpatrick said.


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