- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 13, 2001

Thousands of area residents yesterday endured a harsh sun and long waits of up to six hours outside blood banks to donate their blood to victims of Tuesday's suicide airliner attack on the Pentagon.
Donation centers struggled to cope with the crowds and begged some donors to return later in the week.
"Our staff was overwhelmed," said Joy Jensen, a spokeswoman for Red Cross' Greater Potomac and Chesapeake region, which includes the District and parts of Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania.
More than half of the 4,000 donors who showed up Tuesday at the Red Cross' regional centers were turned away, Miss Jensen said. Yesterday, 10 donor centers opened at 8 a.m., and by 3 p.m., as many as 3,000 people had turned out, she said, adding that total turnout at the end of the day was expected to be higher than Tuesday's.
Hundreds of additional volunteers were deployed to cope with the incessant flow of donors. At the center in the 1700 block of E Street NW, nearly 100 people waited patiently in line at around 2 p.m. for their turn to give blood.
"After what happened, I felt very helpless. This was at least something I could do to help," said Angela Newburn, a Northwest resident who left her newborn baby with a sitter so she could donate blood.
In Richmond, Virginia Blood Services scheduled emergency drives at shopping centers and extended hours at several donor centers. In northwest Baltimore, more than 100people waited to give blood despite21/2-hour delays.
At the E Street center in the District, where donors were asked to expect a three-hour wait, volunteers handed out bottles of water and cookies to about 100 prospective donors to keep them from getting dehydrated.
Most donors, like Mrs. Newburn, came with friends in preparation for the expected wait. Some brought books, and many said their employers had given them time off and even encouraged them to give blood.
Adrien Hart, a Canadian citizen who was waiting to donate blood, said her countrymen were shocked at what happened and wanted to help.
"This is just tragic. All of us have great sympathy for all Americans. We will always be there to help them," she said.
Silver Spring resident C.J. Hager said she felt powerless after Tuesday's terrorist attack.
"This is as good a time as any to come out and help," she said, adding that her faith in people was restored when she saw the turnout at the donor center.
"There is a lot of cynicism about human nature, but something like this makes you realize there are things that you don't know," Miss Hager said.
Meanwhile, area hospitals yesterday transferred and treated patients from Tuesday's attack.
At the Virginia Hospital Center, which received most of the victims from the attack on the Pentagon, 44 persons were treated, of which 35 had been discharged; seven were in critical condition.
Workers at the hospital said the experience of seeing the patients brought in with burn and smoke injuries was "electric" and "horrible."
"Nothing prepares you for something like this," said one medical intern who worked in the emergency room when the patients were brought in. "I wish I never see something like this again."
At Washington Hospital Center, 15 persons had been treated by last night, including one ambulance worker and four walk-ins.
Trauma chief Dennis Wang said the hospital has the capacity to treat 30 to 35 patients who have suffered burns over 30 percent to 70 percent of their bodies, singed lungs and smoke inhalation. "Unfortunately, we did not have a lot more people" because they were not contacted in time, said Dr. Mark Smith, chairman of emergency medicine.
Margie Hyslop contributed to this article, which is based in part on wire service reports.


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