Blood Supplies Reach Dangerously Low Levels Coast-to-Coast

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Source: United Blood Services

Blood supplies across the country remain at dangerously low levels following a severe decline in blood donations following the July 4th holiday. In an effort to rebuild both local and national supplies and be prepared for unexpected events, United Blood Services Central Coast, a Blood Systems blood center, is calling on the community to come forward once again by giving blood this week and throughout the remainder of the summer.

The Central Coast region has impressively stepped up in the past in response to similar calls to grow the blood inventory, by donating blood in truly significant amounts when compared to the rest of the U.S. 

United Blood Services Central Coast strives to keep a four-day supply of every blood type on the shelf at all times to be able to meet the needs of patients at hospitals in the area. Donations from O-negative donors, the universal blood type, are especially important this time of year due to increased accidents and trauma cases. The current O-negative blood supply sits at an approximate two-day supply, which is half of the ideal quantity needed to support patient needs. Additionally, platelet donations, which have a shelf-life of only five days, are in high demand after a slow holiday week. However, donors of all types are needed.

As part of Blood Systems Blood Services division, United Blood Services Central Coast is included in a multi-state system of blood centers. This network works in tandem, moving lifesaving donations throughout the system to help ensure blood is available when and where it’s needed most. In July alone, the network is facing a shortfall of 5,700 donations, with deficits continuing through August. The significant nationwide decline in donations has led to this coordinated call on the public to donate blood.

“Patients, their families and the more than 1,000 hospitals across our nation that Blood Systems serves depend on us to deliver on our promise to provide a safe and ample blood supply,” said Rob Van Tuyle, president of Blood Systems Blood Services Division. “Don’t take a vacation from blood donation. In about an hour, one donor can save up to three lives by giving blood.”

Schedule a donation today and save lives tomorrow.

United Blood Services Central Coast urges both existing and first-time donors of all blood types to visit or call 805-543-4290 to schedule an appointment at one of its four donor centers or community blood drives throughout the Central Coast. Walk-ins are welcome at any United Blood Services location.

Individuals who are at least 16 years of age (16 and 17 with parental consent), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in general good health may be eligible to donate blood.

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