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Press Release: Nationwide Blood Shortage Continues

SAN BERNARDINO, CA — As severe winter storms continue to traverse the country, and cold and flu season is in full swing, the one-two punch is hitting LifeStream Blood Bank hard and drastically impacting community blood supplies. Severe weather can also lead to more accidents and an increased need for blood.

LifeStream has a critical need for platelets and type O blood donations; however, all blood types are needed. In emergency situations, when a patient’s blood type isn’t known, doctors reach for type O blood first until the patient can be stabilized. Platelets have a very short shelf life – only 5 days. LifeStream needs to collect 500 donations per day of all types to replenish the supply and meet the needs of area patients.

LifeStream strives to maintain a 4-day supply of type O blood; currently, we’re at less than a single-day supply. Nationwide, blood donations collected in late December and early January were down 47 percent compared to the first two weeks of December, making it challenging for all blood banks to maintain an adequate blood supply.

Donors are strongly encouraged to give blood in the coming days to immediately rebuild the community blood supply. Walk-ins are welcome; to set an appointment and locate all drive locations, call 800-879-4484 or visit LStream.org.

“We typically see a drop in donations around this time of year because people are not only recovering from the holidays, many are also suffering from the flu and other illnesses,” said Rick Axelrod, MD, LifeStream’s president/CEO. “Add bad weather to the mix and it makes it extremely difficult to maintain an adequate blood supply for patients who need it.”

January is National Blood Donor Month, a critical time for new donors to step up and make blood donation a life-transforming habit.

Donors must be at least 15 years of age (15- and 16-year-olds require a signed parental consent form; the form is available at all LifeStream locations); weigh at least 110 pounds, present current photo ID, and be in good health.

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.

Locations and hours for LifeStream donor centers follow:

            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.

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.

            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.

            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.

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.

To make an appointment, please call 800.879.4484 or click below.

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