St. Louis Public Radio News
11:40 am
Mon August 4, 2003

Red Cross Taking Over Some of Gateway's Functions

St. Louis, MO – American Red Cross officials say they're adding personnel to handle blood donations in the St. Louis area, now that the other major blood supplier in the region has closed.

Gateway Blood Association announced last week that it would temporarily shut down due to financial problems. Gateway had supplied blood to about 30 area hospitals.

Red Cross spokesman Jim Williams says they hope to pick up the slack. "We actually have hired a few people (last) week and we're in the interviewing process right now to make sure that we can adequately staff the blood drives and our fixed sites to make sure that we keep the blood on the shelves," he said.

Williams says the current blood supply is about two days, which is 1-3 days short of the Red Cross' goal.

Gateway's shutdown left hospitals under contract from the company to get their blood from Springfield, Ill., and Davenport, Iowa.