Facing a “critical” shortage of blood, LifeStream Blood Bank will hold two mobile blood donation events Wednesday in the Coachella Valley, where donors will also be screened for COVID-19 antibodies.
LifeStream staff will set up from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at two locations — La Quinta Medical Center, 47647 Caleo Bay Drive, and Stater Bros., 69255 Ramon Road in Cathedral City.
Prospective donors who miss these opportunities to give blood will have others this week on the following days:
— Thursday at Xavier College Preparatory High School, 34200 Cook St. in Palm Desert, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.;
— Friday at Xavier College Preparatory High School, 34200 Cook St. in Palm Desert, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m; and
— Friday at Nitrofusions, 78010 Main St., Suite 108 in La Quinta, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The nonprofit continues to face a dire shortage of blood, a shortage that LifeStream officials say puts cancer and surgical patients — along with accident victims and newborn babies — at risk of having crucial procedures canceled.
“The situation is critical,” LifeStream CEO and President Dr. Rick Axelrod said. “Surgeons can only do so much without an ample blood supply. On behalf of patients they assist, I implore the community to come forward and help.”
LifeStream is low on all blood types, but especially Group O blood — which has the highest demand. It continues to struggle to fill its blood drive calendar, which is currently booked at 50% of normal levels.
According to Axelrod, the nonprofit typically receives 25% of its annual donations via high school and college campus blood drives, all of which have been canceled through the end of the year due to COVID-19. The canceled drives, which were scheduled between September and December, equate to 7,500 pints of lost blood, Axelrod said.
During the first few weeks of the coronavirus outbreak, protective stay-at-home orders forced the cancellation of more than 80 LifeStream blood drives throughout Southern California, resulting in an additional 5,000 pints of blood effectively lost from mid-March through the end of May.
Potential donors must wear face coverings while donating, have their temperatures checked and complete a review of possible COVID-19 symptoms. They must be at least 15 years old, weigh at least 115 pounds and be free from infections or illnesses.
Donors must not be at risk of having AIDS or hepatitis, and those under 17 years old must bring written consent from a parent.
Appointments are recommended and can be made by calling 800-879-4484 or online at www.lstream.org.
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