‘Dangerously low:’ San Diego blood bank makes urgent call for donations

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(Photo: San Diego Blood Bank)

SAN DIEGO — The local blood bank says donations, especially Type O-positive, are urgently needed and they’re also seeking organizations to host blood drives.

San Diego Blood Bank said in a news release Tuesday that supply across the country has reached dangerously low levels, which is uncommon this time of year. In San Diego, shelves are stocked with a 3-day or less supply of most blood types, compared to the seven to 10-day supply that is considered ample, according to staff.

The local blood bank attributes the supply issues to a dip in donor turnout amid renewed concern about COVID cases and the Delta variant. Mobile blood drives typically hosted by schools and businesses continue to see cancellations, leading to disruptions in the nation’s supply.

“All types are needed, but San Diego Blood Bank’s average monthly supply of O-positive blood is the lowest it’s been in over a decade,” said Claudine Van Gonka, the blood bank’s director of community relations and marketing. “It is critical that we stabilize our blood supply so hospitals are not forced to alter treatment for some patients or cancel surgeries.”

San Diego Blood Bank is also hoping more individuals, schools, business and community organizations will host blood drives.

To be eligible to donate blood, you must be at least 17 years old, weigh 114 pounds or more and be in general good health. Eligible blood donors are encouraged to schedule an appointment at SanDiegoBloodBank.org or calling 619-400-8251.

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