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Magen David Adom's blood bank stopped delivering blood to hospitals yesterday due to a severe shortage.

Blood is currently being supplied only for urgent and life-saving surgeries. The blood bank currently has only 400 O-type blood units, which is not enough for one day's use.

Professor Ayelet Shenar, head of MDA's blood services, informed hospitals that the organization cannot supply blood for purposes other than saving lives. There has been a drop in the number of blood donors in recent weeks, possibly because of the colder weather and accompanying illnesses, Shenar said.

"Since blood can be stored for only 35 days, the blood bank cannot accumulate reserves, and donations are constantly necessary," she said. "One thousand to 2,000 donations are required daily in order to meet hospital demands, and recently this number has dropped to approximately 700."

Blood type O is particularly important, since it can be given to patients of all blood types. Therefore, 1,000 type-O donations are needed daily to keep reserves at a satisfactory level.

MDA is calling for urgent donations. Information is available at the MDA Web site and by calling (03) 530-0400.