RS Blood Shortage
Date: 12-12-2022 1:18 PM - Word Count: 475

RS Blood Shortage
   Blood Bank's Supplies of One Blood Type `Hours' Away from Shrinking to Zero
   Eds: LifeStream PIO Dina Colunga can be reached at
   RIVERSIDE (CNS) - One of the Inland Empire's largest blood banks is on
the verge of completely exhausting its supply of the most commonly utilized
blood type for transfusions, prompting calls today for blood donors to help
prevent the shortage from becoming an all-out emergency that threatens
patients' lives.
   ``We are down to hours of supply,'' LifeStream President Dr. Rick
Axelrod said. ``What is extremely concerning is we do not have enough `O'
positive blood on our shelves for our local hospitals. We will not be able to
meet the needs of local hospital patients if we don't receive more blood
donations from local residents.''
   LifeStream provides product to more than 80 hospitals throughout
Southern California, not only the inland region.
   Axelrod emphasized that O positive is the ``most needed blood type
because it is the most common blood type.''
   ``We urge anyone who is healthy, feeling well and able to donate blood
to give blood at a LifeStream donor center,'' he said. ``You are needed now
to help friends, family and fellow residents, who require blood products for
life-saving treatments.''
   Axelrod said that, in addition to the dwindling supplies of O positive
blood, there's a worsening platelet shortage.
   ``Platelets are extremely important, as they are the clotting agents
in our blood,'' he said. ``When we are cut, platelets are essential to help
minimize bleeding. Adults and children with cancer need frequent platelet
transfusions as part of their treatment.''
   He urged anyone able to donate platelets, especially with `A'
positive, `A' negative, `B' positive and `B' negative blood types, to make a
donation as soon as possible.
   LifeStream's donor appointment line is 800-879-4484. Appointments can
also be made online via
   Prospective donors must be at least 15 years old, and anyone under 17
must have parental consent. Mini physical exams will be required before a
donation can proceed.
   LifeStream has donation centers in Hemet, La Quinta, Murrieta, Rancho
Mirage and Riverside. There are additional sites in San Bernardino County, as
well as mobile clinics.
   Since last fall, LifeStream has been waging a campaign to encourage
blood donations as supplies cratered regionally and elsewhere, with hospitals
and trauma centers in the most critical need of the life-saving and sustaining
   The Riverside University Medical Center joined the campaign in
January, when hospital spokesman Dr. Michael Mesisca told the Board of
Supervisors that, without a ``major storage or reserve'' of blood, patients'
lives were at risk.
   Copyright 2022, City News Service, Inc.

CNS-12-12-2022 13:18