Red Cross officials in Missouri say there is a critical need for blood donors right now with blood supplies at very low levels – shortages that might be caused in part by the Red Cross’s screening efforts. Christine Bales with the Red Cross’s blood services region covering most of Missouri and Southern Illinois says the blood supplies could run out at anytime and admits part of the problem is they are more picky about whose blood they can take. People who have lived in Europe a cumulative six months in the last 24 years cannot give blood because of fears of Mad Cow disease. And people who might have gone south of the border might not be able to give. Bales says the restrictions have increased the number of potential blood donors her organization has to turn away by five times what was turned away just a few years ago. Bales says the only option they have is to ask for a larger pool of potential donors.
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