American Red Cross to donate skin for Paraguay fire survivors

WASHINGTON, Friday, August 06, 2004 - In response to a request by the government of Paraguay, the American Red Cross is donating life-saving allograft skin tissue to Paraguay for transplantation. The American Red Cross has notified the American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of this action.
The donated allograft skin will be used to treat burn victims from last weekend's supermarket fire in Paraguay that killed over 400 people. More than 500 people remain hospitalized. Allograft skin transplants, acting as a temporary covering of burn sites, are vital to preventing infection, and decreasing fluid loss, heat loss and pain. Skin transplants can truly be a life-saving treatment for burn victims.

The tissue being shipped to Paraguay is from donors whose families have consented for their gift of donation to be used both in the United States, and internationally if the need arises.

Allograft skin tissue is provided for transplant by the American Red Cross Transplantation Services, which procures, processes and distributes skin tissue to hospitals and burn centers throughout the nation, and is committed to honoring the altruistic gift of tissue donation.

About the American Red Cross

Governed by volunteers and supported by community donations, the American Red Cross is a nationwide network of nearly 900 field units dedicated to saving lives and helping people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. Led by 1 million volunteers and 36,000 employees, the Red Cross annually mobilizes relief to families affected by more than 70,000 disasters, trains almost 12 million people in lifesaving skills and keeps U.S. military families connected worldwide. The Red Cross is the largest supplier of blood and blood products to more than 3,000 hospitals across the nation and also assists victims of international disasters and conflicts at locations worldwide. Marsha J. Evans is the President and CEO of the American Red Cross.

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Contact: Ryland Dodge
Phone: 202-303-5492
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American Red Cross
All American Red Cross disaster assistance is provided at no cost, made possible by voluntary donations of time and money from the American people. The Red Cross also supplies nearly half of the nation's lifesaving blood. This, too, is made possible by generous voluntary donations. To help the victims of disaster, you may make a secure online credit card donation or call 1-800-HELP NOW (1-800-435-7669) or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish). Or you may send your donation to your local Red Cross or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, D.C. 20013. To donate blood, please call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE (1-800-448-3543), or contact your local Red Cross to find out about upcoming blood drives. © Copyright, The American National Red Cross. All Rights Reserved.