Officials at Miller-Keystone Blood Center confirmed the donation of 25 units of red cells to Haitian relief efforts.

The contribution is part of a cooperative effort with Blood Centers of America, a cooperative of community blood centers providing approximately 30 percent of the nation's transfusion requirements.

According to Joseph Yelo, vice president of administration, the donated blood products have been shipped to Community Blood Center of South Florida, where they will be combined with life-saving units donated from other blood centers throughout the nation.

The blood supplies will then be airlifted to Haiti on Feb. 2.

"Miller-Keystone Blood Center is privileged to respond to the tragic earthquake in Haiti by providing emergency blood supplies," stated Yelo, noting that if necessary, additional requests for blood products will be coordinated among its blood center partners throughout the nation.

He confirmed that the donation, which comes from Miller-Keystone's existing blood inventory, will not impact the Blood Center's service to our regional hospitals, and that the need for a larger donor appeal is not anticipated at this time.

"However," he added, "we encourage all eligible donors with the O-negative blood type to schedule an appointment, as individuals having this blood type are 'universal blood donors,' meaning that the red cells from an O-negative donor can be given to anyone, regardless of their blood type."

For more information or to schedule a donation, contact Miller-Keystone Blood Center at (800) 223-6667.