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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.

LifeStream, Palm Springs Air Museum partner to restore World War II-era seaplane

LifeStream blood bank is partnering with the Palm Springs Air Museum to help save lives while restoring to its former glory the World War II-era PBY-5A Catalina seaplane.

PBY stands for “Patrol, Bomber, Consolidated;” “5A” represents a revised, improved model of the original craft.

“Our organization is thrilled and excited about taking up the cause to bring about awareness and help fund restoration of this historic craft,” said Rick Axelrod, M.D., LifeStream’s president/CEO. “As a Coachella Valley resident, I have followed with interest the museum’s quest to obtain and restore the seaplane, and feel it’s a privilege for our organization to join the museum and embark on a 2-year journey toward its full restoration.”

The entities will kick off the partnership by joining forces for a community blood drive Saturday, Dec. 15 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Palm Springs Air Museum, 745 N. Gene Autry Trail. For each blood donor who gives the code “9PBY” at registration, LifeStream will donate $5 toward the restoration of the PBY-5A Catalina.

Walk-ins are welcome; appointments are suggested and may be made by calling 800-879-4484 or visiting LStream.org.

The aircraft system capable of land or sea landings first flew in 1935 as a prototype for the U.S. Navy; production models began as the PBY-1 in 1936. Due to their amphibious capabilities, there was scarcely a maritime battle in WW II in which they were not involved.

The PBY had its vulnerabilities; it was slow, with a maximum speed of 179 mph, and with no crew armor or self-sealing tanks, was susceptible to anti-aircraft attack. It was these weaknesses, coinciding with effective radar and Japanese reliance on night transport, which led to the development of the “Black Cat Squadrons.”

These crews performed nighttime search and attack missions in their black-painted PBYs. The tactics were spectacularly successful and seriously disrupted the flow of supplies and personnel to Japanese island bases. The Catalinas also proved effective in search and rescue missions. One detachment based in the Solomon Islands rescued 161 airmen between January 1 and August 15, 1943.

Following the war, “N31235” began its odyssey that eventually landed it in Palm Springs.

Alternately modified, reconditioned and converted to other uses while changing ownership several times in the decades since, the PBY last served as an aerial firefighting tanker from 1970-1997.

Ten years later – and 63 years after arriving in Attu, Alaska, for her first combat assignment – the PBY-5A was obtained by the Palm Springs Air Museum.

LifeStream is the exclusive provider of blood products and services to all Coachella Valley hospitals.

 

October 20, 21 or 22 only! 🅾️ Calling all O donors, you are needed! Donate whole blood and receive Halloween socks AND a $10 e-gift card. Or, donate double red cells and receive Halloween socks AND a $20 e-gift card! Visit http://LStream.org/socks to make an appointment today!

You can make a difference in the lives of those with cancer. Honor those fighting this battle and give blood TODAY! Learn more and schedule your appointment to donate blood at http://LStream.org/BCA. 💗

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