Blood Supplies Low After September 11th

Mississippi's blood service agencies say the state is down to one day's supply of blood, and they worry the public has pulled back on donations because of the outpouring experienced in September.

Benny Latino of Mississippi Blood Services says his agency is collecting less than 70 percent of what the state needs. Latino says he had to tell hospitals this week to cancel all surgeries and reserve blood transfusions for emergencies only.

Latino traveled to the University of Southern Mississippi Wednesday to collect donations at the student union. He said that while about 25 people donated, the response wasn't as great as he had hoped.

Blood agency workers fear there is a blood donation backlash after the outpouring of support after September 11. Suzie McDowell of United Blood Services said she thinks the public doesn't understand that blood expires after 42 days.

McDowell says that United Blood Services has advised hospitals to postpone elective surgeries.