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Blood banks face national shortage

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WASHINGTON, Jul 07, 2003 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- The nation's blood banks are asking for immediate blood donations to boost supplies that are being described as critically low.

Travel experts say the Fourth of July weekend was the most traveled in nine years, and as families vacation away from their jobs and homes, regular blood donations fall.

Going into the Independence Day holiday weekend, blood supplies were at their lowest point in several months -- the American Red Cross had only about two days of all blood types available.

Many of the nation's blood banks are suffering from low supplies as people who usually donate blood go on vacation. Nearly all of the 36 Blood Services regions of the Red Cross have been asking for donations in their local communities during recent weeks.

Despite those efforts, an urgent need for all blood types remains.

Copyright 2003 by United Press International.

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