american-red-cross-blood-supplies-dwindle-across-us.,-adding-to-inland-blood-crisis

American Red Cross blood supplies dwindle across U.S., adding to Inland blood crisis

The Independence Day holiday brought families together for fireworks shows and patriotic parades.

When it came to donating blood, however, an estimated 17,000 fewer people across the nation rolled up their sleeves.

Citing a “difficult” week for blood drives, the American Red Cross issued an urgent, nationwide request for blood Tuesday, July 9, after its stock recently dipped under an average three-day supply for all types.

Type O blood, which can be used in any patient, was at less than a two-day supply, as of Tuesday, July 9.

  • Blood flows into a bag as Riverside resident Karen Cuautle donates during a Red Cross blood drive at Hope Lutheran Church in Riverside on Tuesday, July 9. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Riverside resident Karen Cuautle holds up her arm after giving blood Tuesday, July 9, during a Red Cross blood drive at Hope Lutheran Church in Riverside. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Sound
    The gallery will resume inseconds
  • Riverside resident Karen Cuautle gives blood during a Red Cross blood drive Tuesday, July 9. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Red Cross technician Diana Ohs tears tape off the arm of Johnnie Corina III after he gave blood Tuesday, July 9, at a Red Cross blood drive. Red Cross technician Haratch Jabarian, left, looks on. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Drawn blood sits in a cooler Tuesday, July 9, during a Red Cross blood drive at Hope Lutheran Church in Riverside. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • J Boykin, who lives in Riverside, smiles Tuesday, July 9, as he gives blood at a Red Cross blood drive at Hope Lutheran Church in Riverside. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Red Cross phlebotomist Monica Lopez prepares to draw blood from Johnnie Corina III during a Tuesday, July 9, Red Cross blood drive in Riverside. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Red Cross technician Haratch Jabarian holds up the arm of Johnnie Corina III after he gave blood at a Red Cross blood drive Tuesday, July 9, in Riverside. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • J Boykin, from Riverside, gives blood Tuesday, July 9, as Red Cross technician Haratch Jabarian monitors him. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

of

Expand

LifeStream, the blood bank that serves most of the Inland Empire, also is experiencing a blood shortage this summer.

The American Red Cross and LifeStream give donated blood to hospitals to use for patients who need it. The Red Cross has no Inland donation centers, but has several mobile stations to help with blood drives.

“We have a nationwide need,” Christine Welch, a Red Cross spokeswoman for California, said Tuesday.

Ideally, she said, blood centers across the country should have a five-day supply of blood for all types. No Inland figures are available, she said.

A three-day supply during the summer is worrisome, Welch said, because vacations and school graduations make replenishing blood reserves more difficult. In June — typically a slow month for blood donations — the American Red Cross was short by over 24,000 donations across the nation from what it historically expects. A low number of nationwide blood drives this month also added to the problem, she said.

In response, the organization has added thousands more appointments to blood drives in the U.S. — including some in Riverside and San Bernardino counties — through the rest of July.

“Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs a blood transfusion,” she said. “We’d like to help our partner hospital shelves be stocked.”

At LifeStream, which ran out of type O blood last month, the situation is similar, said Kevin Moore, vice president of operations.

While, as of Wednesday morning, July 10, the bank had roughly a five-day supply of type A blood, its supply of type O-positive blood is at four tenths of one day — far below what hospitals in Southern California need.

“We’re in this huge hole,” he said. “We need a sustained, probably four to six weeks — if not eight weeks — of sustained over-collection in order to get us out of this deficit.”

Moore added that his organization cannot give blood to the American Red Cross because LifeStream is just as strapped for blood.

“Patients undergoing cancer treatments, medical emergencies, and those with chronic blood conditions requiring blood products, depend on the generosity of volunteer blood donors,” Welch wrote in an email.

HOW TO DONATE

LifeStream and the American Red Cross are hosting several blood drives across the Inland Empire through the rest of the month. Here are highlights through Tuesday, July 16. Information: 909-885-6503 for LifeStream or 1-800-733-2767 for the American Red Cross.

Wednesday, July 10

Where: Auto Club Speedway, 9300 Cherry Ave., Fontana

When: Noon to 6 p.m.

Where: Rancho San Antonio Medical Center, 7777 Miliken Ave., Rancho Cucamonga

When: 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Friday, July 12

Where: U.S. Army Recruitment Center, 1402 W. 7th St., Upland

When: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Where: Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church, 11650 Perris Blvd., Moreno Valley

When: Noon to 6 p.m.

Where: Rancho Springs Medical Center, 25520 Medical Drive, Murrieta

When: Noon to 6 p.m.

Saturday, July 13

Where: Rancho Cucamonga Community Center, 9791 Arrow Route, Rancho Cucamonga

When: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Where: American Red Cross Riverside Chapter, 6235 Rivercrest Drive, Riverside

When: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Where: Starbucks, 29588 Rancho California Road, Temecula

When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Sunday, July 14

Where: Impact Church, 29697 New Hub Drive, Menifee

When: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Monday, July 15

Where: Stater Bros., 1661 E. Sixth St., Beaumont

When: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: Simpson Center, 305 E. Devonshire Ave., Hemet

When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: Bank of America, 27489 Ynez Road, Temecula

When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Tuesday, July 16

Where: American Career College, 3130 Sedona Court, Ontario

When: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Where: Mt. San Jacinto College’s Menifee Valley Campus, 28237 La Piedra Road, Menifee

When: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Where: Riverside County Department of Public Social Services, 12625 Heacock St., Moreno Valley

When: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!