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LifeStream Blood Bank readying to support blood centers affected by Hurricane Ian  

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 29, 2022

CONTACT: Dina Colunga
Public Relations Specialist
Phone: 909.885.6503 ext. 312
EMAIL: colungdi@lstream.org

LifeStream Blood Bank readying to support blood centers affected by Hurricane Ian  

SAN BERNARDINO, CALIF – In light of Hurricane Ian, the Association for the Advancement of Blood & Biotherapies (AABB) Interorganizational Task Force on Domestic Disasters and Acts of Terrorism strongly urges eligible individuals throughout the United States to schedule a blood or platelet donation appointment as soon as possible. Blood Centers of America are requesting that donor centers outside Florida send 1,000 red blood cell units and 2,000 platelet units to blood donation centers in affected areas.

While most blood products collected by LifeStream stay in the Southern California region, LifeStream stands ready to assist blood banks in affected areas of Florida that may request help from out-of-state centers. Hurricane Ian highlights the importance of having blood at the ready to help people at home and across the country. Blood donors are essential to maintaining a stable and adequate blood supply, which can help save lives and ensure patient needs are met.

The need for platelets is particularly urgent, given that they have a limited shelf life of five days. On average, blood collection organizations nationwide had only 1-2 days’ worth supply of blood supply heading into the storm. Anticipated disruptions in blood collections – as well as transportation challenges – in Florida and the Southeast throughout the next several days are likely to exacerbate already low inventories, particularly in the affected areas. Blood collection organizations throughout the country have already mobilized and are supporting blood collection organizations in Florida with much-needed blood products and are prepared to continue doing so as long as necessary.

“We are asking all eligible individuals in areas unaffected by this powerful storm to donate blood or platelets now to ensure that every patient who needs this life-saving resource will have it,” said John Hagins, chair of the Task Force. “There is no substitute for blood and no time to waste. Without these donations, lives could be at risk.”

The Task Force will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as blood needs change throughout the next week.

“LifeStream is asking all eligible blood donors to schedule an appointment as soon as possible,” said Dr. Rick Axelrod, LifeStream president/CEO & medical director. “We want to have the product on hand and ready when Florida Blood Centers request our help. The ongoing blood shortage makes this a challenge, as our supply is already critically low for our local hospitals here at home. To have an adequate supply for our local patients in Southern California and to support our friends in Florida, we need our loyal donors to answer the call for help.”

Appointments are recommended, but walk-ins are welcome at all LifeStream donor centers and mobile blood drives. Donors must be at least 15 years of age (15 and 16-year-olds require a signed parental consent form), weigh at least 115 pounds, present current photo ID and be in good health. For more information or to make an appointment, call 1-800-879-4484 or visit LStream.org.

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