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Donated blood supply critically low for the Central Coast

Posted at 6:12 AM, Jun 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-16 09:12:22-04

The Central Coast is dealing with a critical blood shortage as we head into the Summer months.

Vitalant says they are seeing a drop in blood donations as well as a decrease in the number of new donors.

The shortage is raising concerns ahead of the Fourth of July weekend.

"We currently have a blood shortage in the county that's affecting all hospitals," said Dr. Jessica Farrell, Pathologist at both Twin Cities and Sierra Vista.

Vitalant is a non-profit that collects blood donations and transports supplies to where they are needed.

"We have half of the daily supply that we'd like to have which is normally a four days' worth of blood supply," said Vitalant Account Manager Laura Kamada.

According to Vitalant, there were 13,000 fewer donations in April and May of this year compared to the same time last year.

There was also a 12 percent drop in the number of new donors.

"The blood on the shelves is what helps save people's lives," said Kamada.

The shortage has left hospitals with only enough supplies to handle a single mass trauma event.

"Having just the blood supply for one trauma, especially going into a holiday such as the Fourth of July, is not ideal," said Farrell. "Typically being at this level is not a common instance for us, we usually are able to have enough donors."

Hospital officials tell us it is possible that they could need to postpone some elective surgeries if the shortages continue.

Twin Cities held a blood drive today in Templeton on Wednesday where they were able to collect 36 pints of blood, which was above their goal of 30.

Vitalant says there is the greatest need for Type O negative and Type O positive blood, which are most commonly used.