Flu epidemic impacting local blood supply, San Diego Bank Bank asks for donations
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — The high numbers of people with the flu and cold this season is impacting the local blood supply, the San Diego Blood Bank announced Monday.
Anticipated donations at mobile drives and centers are significantly down due to cancellations based on reported illness. SDBB is asking San Diegans to donate blood as soon as possible to help them ensure that local patients have the blood needed.
On a national level, blood centers in the Northeast and East Coast that are unable to collect for their local hospitals due to the effects of recent winter storms. With potential national shortages, San Diego may be called upon to assist other areas of the country.
“It’s critical that our community, especially those with type O blood, and those who have never given blood before, come out and donate today,” said San Diego Blood Bank CEO, David Wellis. “Let’s do what we do best, partner together as a community to save the lives of patients in need.”
January is traditionally a difficult time of year to collect enough blood products to meet patient needs. The added strain of increased local flu cases and anticipated requests for blood for other parts of the country, creates potential for the local blood supply to suffer.
January also happens to be National Blood Donor Month, which has been observed in January since 1970 with the goal of increasing blood and platelet donations during winter.
To be eligible to donate blood you must be at least 17 years old (16-year-olds may donate with parental consent), weigh at least 114 pounds and be in general good health. Eligible blood donors are encouraged to schedule an appointment to give by visiting www.SanDiegoBloodBank.org or calling 1-800-4-MY-SDBB (1-800-469-7322).