Vitalant, formerly known as United Blood Services, says severe winter storms across the country and the cold and flu season have impacted community blood supplies.
Vitalant says blood donations collected in late December and early January were down 47 percent compared to the first two weeks of December.
All blood types are needed, but Vitalant says there’s currently a critical need for platelets and type O blood donations.
On the Central Coast, Vitalant says it needs to collect 1,250 donations of all blood types per week to replenish its supply.
To schedule an appointment to give blood, go to vitalant.org or call 877-258-4825. Walk-in donors are also welcome. Vitalant has locations in San Luis Obispo, Santa Maria and Santa Barbara.