Network Of Blood Centers Help Meet Disaster Needs

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(Memphis) The number of people killed and injured from Sandy keeps climbing, 88 people are dead at last count.  

In disasters like this, there is a way communities can make sure they have enough blood on hand.

It's called a "blood network."

Lifeblood of Memphis belongs to such a network, but so far hasn't been asked to send any blood to the New York area.

Jennifer Balink, V.P. of Lifeblood donor relations says there's a good reason for that, "The blood centers that serve the New York area are working together to make sure that community has what it needs."

Balink says this network is how communities like Memphis make it through a shortage of blood supplies, even when there's not a disaster, "We don't have enough local donors to support the local patient needs. So we rely on other blood centers to help us when local collections aren't enough to provide to the hospitals."

Lifeblood needs 300 donors everyday of the year to meet demands for Memphis patients.  

Keeping the shelves stocked is crucial in case of an emergency, "Be prepared in any event. Should an accident happen on the highway, should a storm hit, should an earthquake hit."

Dawn Enman says it's the most important contribution you can make, "It's vital to life. You need blood just like you need air."

Dawn Enman has been donating the "gift of life" for almost thirty years.

Her contributions to Lifeblood will go to help people she's never met, "I'm O negative, so I'm a universal donor. and my blood is cleared to give to infants. So I can give to Le Bonheur and all the small children."

And like most of us Dawn has been watching the devastation of hurricane Sandy.

Her donation of blood may end up helping someone far away from Memphis, "So it's one of the simplest acts of kindness and giving that you can do."

Memphis uses twice as much blood as most metropolitan areas because of our level one trauma center and large number of pediatric patients.