Currently, there is a shortage of blood throughout the community. Arroyo Grande Community Hospital, French Hospital Medical Center, and Marian Regional Medical Center are partnering with Vitalant to encourage community members to donate blood at a series of blood drives.
Vitalant urges other groups to continue organizing blood drives and individuals to continue donating blood, unless local public health officials specifically direct otherwise.
Most blood drives at schools, churches, community groups and religious institutions, which represent more than 60% of the nation's blood supply, have been canceled, but Vitalant says they are critical to health care in the county.
With the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is now especially challenging to recruit donors, which affects Vitalant's blood supply.
The O-negative blood type, universal, is particularly important and its current supply sits at an approximate two-day supply. That is only half of the ideal quantity needed to support patient needs.
Donors of all types are needed, including platelet donations, which have a shelf-life of only five days and are always in high demand.
The drive is scheduled for each hospital on the following dates:
- Marian Regional Medical Center - March 30, 2020, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Outpatient Entrance parking lot located at 1400 East Church Street, Santa Maria
- French Hospital Medical Center - March 31, 2020, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. near the Johnson Street entrance at 1911 South Johnson Avenue, San Luis Obispo
- Arroyo Grande Community Hospital - April 1 2020, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Matthew Will Memorial Medical Center, 850 Fair Oaks Avenue, Arroyo Grande
Community members, excluding those feeling ill, who wish to donate are urged to sign up by clicking here.