Blood-Free Mess


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The city’s hospitals are running dry, as New York is currently experiencing its [worst blood shortage] in almost a decade. “It’s the most critical situation I’ve seen in the last 10 years—really touch and go,” says Dr. Carl. F. Wolf, director of the blood bank and transfusion services at the New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center. The shortage even has some hospitals postponing elective surgeries. So this is a good time to make amends with you’re A-cups.


But not to worry, the [New York Blood Center] is making it easier to let the blood spill, thanks to a new technology that allows donors to [give twice as much](http://www.ny1.com/ny1/NY1ToGo/Story/index.jsp?stid=19&aid=71963) in a single sitting. Traditionally, donating a pint means giving up your plasma, platelets and white blood cells along with the good stuff—your red blood cells. The new technology, known as ALYX and developed by [Baxter Technologies](http://www.baxter.com/about_baxter/news_room/news_releases/2004/07-13-04-blood_collection.html), spins the blood through a centrifuge, which separates the red cells and returns all the other liquids to the donor. The Blood Center says this leaves you feeling more hydrated and replenished. Basically, it’s like a trip to the spa!


The requirements for donors using ALYX are a little different, so call 1-800-933-BLOOD to find out how, when and where you can donate.


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