Blood Services swamped in wake of tragedy

United Blood Services was overwhelmed this morning as hundreds flocked to give blood in the wake of the tragedy that took New York's World Trade Center, part of the Pentagon and four commercial jet liners.

"I got a call early this morning from Dr. Elizabeth Jack, who said the blood will be shipped east," said Dr. David Tillitt, Carson-Tahoe Hospital's chief of staff. "Most elective surgeries here will be cancelled because of the huge need. We're trying to get as much blood there as we can and everyone can help.

"It's pretty amazing, that someone's hip surgery at Carson-Tahoe Hospital could be cancelled by an explosion at the World Trade Center."

New York native Vick Gentiluomo, currently a satellite general supervisor for United Blood Services, said he watched the towers go up. He knows the depth of the tragedy hasn't hit him yet and he hasn't had time to think.

The phone at United Blood Services started ringing at 7 a.m., and hasn't stopped. He marveled at the tremendous spirit of Carson City residents as they streamed into the little office on Winnie Lane.

"This is incredible," he said. "It give me goose bumps, knowing the people of Carson City are so truly committed."

United Blood Services will be calling extra staff in to handle the deluge, Mary Jo Larsen, spokesperson for United Blood Services said an appeal has come from their corporate office for blood, which will probably be shipped to a sister center before moving to the east coast.

'The most important thing is that we will need extra blood for several days," said Mary Jo Larsen, special services representative for United Blood Services. "We will stay until it is handled."

Announcements will be broadcast on the radio to let people know exactly when and where they can donate, according to Larsen.


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