LifeStream Blood Bank will hold three mobile drives next week in the Coachella Valley, where donors also will be screened for COVID-19 antibodies.
The drives are scheduled on:
— Sept. 1 at the Kimpton Rowan Hotel, 100 W. Tahquitz Canyon Way, Palm Springs, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.;
— Sept. 3 at Desert Regional Medical Center, 1150 N. Indian Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and
— Sept. 4 at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, 84245 Indio Springs Road, Indio, from noon to 6 p.m.
Another previously scheduled blood drive will be held Wednesday at Henry’s Bar and Grill at 68955 Ramon Road in Cathedral City from 1 to 6 p.m. and again on Thursday at Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Blood collected through donations to LifeStream goes to more than 80 hospitals in Riverside, San Bernardino, Orange, Los Angeles, Ventura and San Diego counties.
LifeStream is struggling to fill its blood drive calendar, which is currently booked at 50% of normal levels. The nonprofit is struggling to collect enough blood for hospitals.
“We really need for community members to either partner with us to schedule blood drives or encourage people to come to our donor centers to donate to make up for the loss of collecting blood on blood drives,” Dr. Rick Axelrod, LifeStream’s CEO and president, told City News Service.
Axelrod said Lifestream has less than a one-day supply of Group O blood, compared to the normal inventory level of three to five days, according to Axelrod. The nonprofit is also continually 10% short on platelet donations needed for local hospital patients.
LifeStream 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.