RI to the Red Cross: stay away from our blood

Providence, RI – By MEGAN HALL
A letter signed by the presidents of every hospital in Rhode Island is calling on residents to think twice about where they donate blood.

The Rhode Island Blood Center is the primary source for blood for the Ocean State's hospitals- Rhode Island's Red Cross doesn't collect blood. That's why local medical centers were alarmed when the Red Cross in Massachusetts started conducting blood drives in Rhode Island last fall.

Larry Smith, the President and CEO of the Blood Center says that means the blood is going out of state and not to local hospitals.

"We only collect blood in areas where we provide service to hospitals and patients and we ask that they should do the same," he says.

But Donna Morrissey with the Red Cross doesn't agree with that sentiment.

"We believe in blood without borders, so whether you give to your local hospital or you give to the Red Cross, it helps the overall system," she says.

Morrissey points to the 38 units of blood the Red Cross supplied to Rhode Island over the past year. Larry Smith with the Blood Center says those were rare strains that make up a sliver of the 55,000 units of blood it distributes.

More details
View the letter sent to blood donors from the Hospital Association of Rhode Island here

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