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Pittsburg Responds to National Blood Shortage - KOAM TV 7

Pittsburg Responds to National Blood Shortage

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PITTSBURG, KANSAS -

There's a reason the Red Cross and blood banks across the country are always in need of blood.

"What most people don't understand is blood is like a gallon of milk. It's perishable. It has a shelf life, anywhere from 45 to 60 days, and after that it cannot be used. It must be replenished," said Red Cross Volunteer Coordinator Paul Lyle.

But with ice and snow having canceled hundreds of blood drives across the country, the Red Cross estimates 13,000 desperately needed blood and platelet donations have gone uncollected.

"Where you're going to find critical need for blood is the situation (Tuesday) in Kentucky where we had a school shooting, where you had a mass shooting out in Nevada, where you had a train accident out in the state of Washington," said Lyle.

Fortunately, the people of Pittsburg are stepping up. There were 70 donation appointments at Wednesday's two day blood drive at the Frisco Event Center, with another 50 scheduled for Thursday. Paul Lyle also has his own personal reason for volunteering.

"The reason I do this: When I was in Vietnam, I needed four units of whole blood too, and thanks to the Red Cross, it was there for me," said Lyle. 

Walk-ins are welcome if you'd like to donate at Pittsburg's Frisco Event Center. On January 24th, they'll be collecting blood from 8:30 AM to 2 PM.

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