For Immediate Release
July 5, 2016
SACRAMENTO, CA – This July, reserves of whole blood throughout BloodSource service areas ranging from San Francisco to the west through Northern Nevada in the east, and the Oregon border south to Merced, are projected to be at least 4,700 pints below required inventory levels – the equivalent of more than 14,000 lives that could be saved – forcing BloodSource to issue a critical public appeal urgently encouraging blood donors of all types to give blood now.
Currently, the fluctuating blood inventory level has been trending at an approximate two-day supply for patients, which is half of the ideal quantity needed to provide a safe and available blood inventory.
“It is critical that we are prepared to respond to blood needs because it is a matter of life and death. This unprecedented shortage of blood has great potential to compromise our ability to support the transfusions that physicians need to care for, or even save the lives of, their patients,” said Chris Gresens, MD, Senior Medical Director of BloodSource. “Additionally, many transfusion-dependent patients have been requiring unusually large quantities of blood components.”
Hospital demand for blood has also increased significantly this year. Compared to last July, approximately 500 more pints of red blood cells are projected to be in demand from hospitals this July. This increase in blood usage among patients, combined with the plummeting levels of blood donations since the Memorial Day holiday has created an extra strain on an already lean blood supply.
Each week, BloodSource and its partner blood centers need at least 8,000 donors to meet the needs of patients in our
community and beyond. Less than 40% of the general population is eligible to donate blood and less than 10% of those
eligible actually donate. BloodSource and its partner blood centers provide blood to more than 100 hospitals throughout
Northern and Central California, the San Francisco Bay Area, Northern Nevada and around the world as needed.
Out-of-state resources to meet local patient blood needs have also been exhausted since blood centers across the country are still recovering from the widespread decline in donations. Summer is typically a challenging time to collect blood due to many reasons including: high school and colleges – where many blood drives are hosted – are on summer break, regular blood donors are on vacations, and deferrals due to travel. This summer has been especially impacted by the effects of the Zika virus on several regions throughout the world.
To schedule a donation appointment, please visit bloodsource.org or call 866.822.5663.
Since 1948, BloodSource® has saved countless lives through the generosity of its passionate volunteer donor base. Established as a not-for-profit community blood bank, BloodSource® provides blood and medical expertise to hospitals throughout Northern and Central California, the San Francisco Bay Area, Northern Nevada and around the world. Donors can save lives in many ways at BloodSource®, through source plasma, platelets, transfusable plasma or whole blood donation. BloodSource continues to evolve as a leader in blood and transfusion medicine for quality and innovation. Together, we do save lives. www.bloodsource.org.