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Blood banks calling for universal donors

The American Red Cross/Troy Police Department biannual blood drive at the municipal courtroom Thursday was a success.

“The goal was 35 units,” said police spokesperson Benny Scarbrough.

“We exceeded that.”

Vivian Griffin, blood service representative for the American Red Cross said 37 units were collected.

“That can touch the lives of 111 people,” Griffin said of the 37 pints.

“I want to give a big thanks to the city of Troy.”

In all, Griffin said 47 people showed up to donate, but factors such as low iron levels and illness prevented some of them from being able give.

The drive was conducted just as the American Red Cross released a statement saying the national supply of type O negative blood “has dropped to critically low levels.”

Type O negative blood is always in high demand because it can be transfused to patients with any blood type, especially in emergency situations.

Griffin said local efforts are focusing on keeping that supply from completely dwindling.

“We want all types,” Griffin said, “But if you are type O positive or negative we need your blood.”

Griffin said there will be a few opportunities for Pike County residents to give blood in the near future.

Next Thursday, a drive will be held at the Grove Apartments on East Academy Street in Troy from 1-5 p.m.

The following day the Red Cross bus will be set up in the Wal-Mart parking lot from 1:30-5:30p.m.

Jane Thrash, American Red Cross Pike County Office Director said another drive will take place in August.

“On August 12, we’re having a big drive in honor of the 900th Maintenance Company of the Alabama National Guard in Brundidge,” she said.

Thrash said that unit will be deploying to Afghanistan just before the drive, which will be held at the Armory.