War affects people in many ways.
Take blood donors, for example - especially those with A positive and O positive blood.I have been donating blood regularly for several years, and my total now stands at 86 pints. But the war has temporarily postponed my 87th pint donation.
Blood donors apparently came out of the walls when the Persian Gulf war was at its peak. The result? Intermountain Health Care Blood Services had 1,000 pints of A positive and 1,000 pints of O positive blood on hand.
When people like me called in to give their regular donation, they were turned away because of the stockpiles of blood. Because blood can be stored for only 35 days, according to Dr. Myron Laub, medical director for IHC Blood Services, "we didn't want to waste it, so we asked people to delay their donating."
Laub said the IHC blood-drawing rooms had the biggest January ever, especially after Jan. 16 when the air bombardment began. Before that, the units of blood on hand were about 3 percent higher than in previous months.
With all of the blood on hand, Laub was asked why the Deseret News recently ran the IHC Bloodmobile schedule, and Laub said it was because the visits are arranged well in advance. He said blood donors for the bloodmobile visits weren't heavily recruited as in the past, but they haven't been turning anyone away either.
Casualties of war have been light, and blood hasn't been used as quickly as anticipated. But now, Laub is down to about 450 pints each of A positive and O positive blood and in a few days will start accepting blood donations again.
He is hopeful those donors who have been turned away in recent weeks will start their regular donations again to keep the supply of fresh blood coming.