past year the tri-state area experienced one of the worst
blood shortages in history due to a general decline in donors,
along with restrictions placed on prospective donors who lived
or traveled in Europe and ran the risk of exposure to variant
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, commonly known as mad cow disease.
blood shortage of the summer of 2001 was so severe that patient
care suffered in many hospitals because there wasn't enough
blood for transfusions.
attack on the World Trade Center served as a wake-up call
to all Americans as to the importance of having adequate supplies
of blood and blood products.
we must pursue every opportunity to make sure that we continue
to have ample blood supplies so our hospitals can meet the
transfusion needs of their patients - whether for routine
or emergency surgery, the treatment of life-threatening diseases,
or for unforeseen catastrophes such as the one that took place
on September 11th.