Blood Supply Low

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The demand for blood is growing faster than collections and blood supplies here in mid-Michigan are at a critical level.

American Red Cross officials are calling the blood supply level dangerously low. In some cases, the quantities of certain blood types will be depleted in less than half a day. The Red Cross considers a three-day supply safe.

Collections across the state are down 20-percent, an average of 100 units a day. Officials say summer travel and an added number of new deferrals are reasons for the shortage.

Officials also say starting on July 1, there will be investigational testing of the blood supply for West Nile virus. There were 23 cases around the nation last year in which the virus was transmitted through blood.