SAN BERNARDINO – The community blood supply has reached dangerously low levels that could potentially affect patient well-being, according to Don Escalante, public relations specialist for LifeStream.

Some blood banks across the nation are running short of blood supplies due to the government shutdown. Two blood drives that were supposed to be held at federal government buildings in New Orleans were canceled because there were hardly any employees there to donate, according to WDSU News.

That is not the case for LifeStream, Escalante said.

“We think there are at least two things at play that are combining to cause a reduced blood supply,” Escalante told Uken Report. “One is the cold and flu season is here, and many of our potential and regular blood donors are unable to give at this time. One of the main caveats of donating blood is to ‘feel well’ so those who suspect something is ‘coming on,’ or are in full-blown ‘cold or flu’ mode or are still feeling the after-effects of a cold or flu all are ineligible to donate.”

The second reason, which Escalante said is speculative, is that many residents are still in “holiday” mode. It’s typical for blood banks nationwide to experience lower blood donation participation during and throughout the holiday season, as people are preoccupied with gift buying, arranging family get-togethers, or preparing for and leaving town to visit loved ones, he said.

“It may be that not all have returned to a ‘regular’ work or school schedule that is more amenable for donors to set and keep appointments to donate,” Escalante said.

The nonprofit blood bank is urging community residents come forward to avoid local hospitals taking the step of postponing surgeries and other procedures requiring blood transfusions.

community

Blood Bank shelves

All donation types and all blood types are urgently needed at this time. Blood must be on the shelves for surgeries, cancer treatments, to treat accident, burn and trauma victims, and for newborn babies and women giving birth.

Community donors must be at least 15 years of age, weigh at least 110 pounds, and be in good health. Those who are 15 and 16 years old require a signed parental consent form; the form is available at all LifeStream locations.

Did you know that:

  • 1 in 4 U.S. residents will require transfused blood at least once in their lifetime.
  • Less than 10 percent of the population eligible to donate blood actually does so.
  • Every 2 seconds someone needs blood.
  • 1 in 7 hospital patients needs blood.
  • Blood makes up about 8 percent of the human body.

The blood donation process is faster and more convenient than ever when donors – the day of donation – go to LStream.org and click on “ExpressPass.” Required paperwork may be reviewed and the donor questionnaire completed before the donor arrives at the collection site in his or her respective community.

To set an appointment and locate convenient mobile drive locations in your community, call 800-879-4484 or go to LStream.org.

Locations and hours for LifeStream community donor centers are:

  • La Quinta, 79-215 Corporate Centre Drive: 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily except Wednesday, when hours are 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Riverside, 4006 Van Buren Blvd.: 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday; 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Thursday; 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Sunday.
  • San Bernardino, 384 W. Orange Show Road: 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday; 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday; 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Thursday; and 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.
  • Ontario, 1959 E. Fourth St.: 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday; 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday,   Wednesday, Friday and Saturday; 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday and Sunday.
  • Victorville, 12520 Business Center Drive, Bldg. G: 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily except Thursday, when hours are 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Murrieta, 40365 Murrieta Hot Springs Road, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday; 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday; 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday.

LifeStream provides blood products and services to more than 80 Southern California hospitals. It relies upon the generosity of more than 500 volunteer blood donors daily to keep the blood bank adequately stocked.