Inova: ‘Desperate’ need for blood donors ahead of inauguration

WASHINGTON — Area hospitals are making an urgent plea to increase blood supplies in order to prepare for potential emergencies during the inauguration weekend.

“I hate to keep using the word desperate, but we are desperate to increase our collections of type-O red blood cells,” said Terri Craddock, director of Inova Blood Donor Services.

All other types are needed, Craddock said, but the universal donor type O is critical.

“We are part of the disaster preparedness for our Washington-metropolitan area, so we have to make sure we have an adequate supply of blood on hand of all types, all products to meet the needs of anybody that comes through the door.”

Inova Blood Services is the largest hospital-based blood center in the country. The hospital ships blood if supplies exceed local needs at Inova Health System facilities and other area hospitals.

“But, right now with the inauguration coming at the end of the week, our area is the area that really needs to increase collections,” Craddock said.

Making an appointment will speed up the donation process, as opposed to just walking in, Craddock said. Potential donors can use Inova’s website to schedule appointments to donate blood at locations region wide.

“Today is the day of service in celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King,” Craddock said. “So come on out and donate, that’s a great way to give back.”

Kristi King

Kristi King is a veteran reporter who has been working in the WTOP newsroom since 1990. She covers everything from breaking news to consumer concerns and the latest medical developments.

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