LifeStream Blood Bank highlights National Blood Donor Month
SAN BERNARDINO – January is more than just the start of the New Year. It’s also National Blood Donor Month, an opportunity for LifeStream Blood Bank to recognize those who regularly roll up their sleeves and help save lives.
Without the generosity of those who give so selflessly, thousands of patients each year would not have the blood they require for emergency needs or ongoing treatments. LifeStream needs to collect 500 donors each day to meet the needs of local patients. LifeStream is vastly short on appointments and needs at least 160 more donors today and tomorrow to meet local patient needs. Beginning today, these donors will be the first to receive a new promotional item.
Blood is unique in our healthcare ecosystem. It cannot be synthetically made. Volunteer donors are the only way to provide blood to those in need. And the demand is great: every two seconds, someone needs a blood transfusion.
“The rain here in Southern California presents a problem for donor turnout,” said Dr. Rick Axelrod, LifeStream’s president/CEO & medical director. “The need is urgent now more than ever because of the weather. We do not have nearly enough appointments in our donor centers today and tomorrow. We need 160 additional donors. Heart transplants, cancer treatments, transfusions for premature babies, those things don’t stop because it’s raining. In addition, auto
accidents increase with slick roads. Auto accident patients can use up to 50 pints of blood. All of
us are likely to know someone who will need blood, and that likelihood is increased in dangerous rainy conditions.”
Every eligible donor has the ability to create a more reliable and available blood supply for the community. A whole-blood donation takes about one hour to complete, from registration to post-donation snack. Blood donation is a safe process and can be done every 56 days. It’s critical that donors seize these chances to make giving blood a routine way of giving back.
“Many people don’t realize it’s the blood already on the shelves that helps those in immediate need,” said Axelrod. “If a sudden mass traffic accident happened, we do not currently have enough products on the shelves to save those lives. A donation can take up to 48 hours to become available for a patient in need. This is due to extensive testing prior to being sent to hospitals for transfusion-dependent patients. As we make resolutions for 2023, I encourage all who are able to resolve to help save lives by giving blood.”
LifeStream has donor centers in San Bernardino, Riverside, Ontario, Victorville, Murrieta, La Quinta, Rancho Mirage, Placentia and Hemet and conducts mobile blood drives throughout its service area. Eligibility requirements for all donors can be found at www.lstream.org/about-donating/who-can-donate/.
All donors should be feeling healthy and well and present a current photo ID. Walk-ins are welcomed, appointments are encouraged. To make an appointment, call 800-879-4484 or visit LStream.org.
- blood donor: File photo