LifeStream Blood Bank will hold a mobile blood drive Saturday in Palm Springs, where donors also will be screened for COVID-19 antibodies.

The blood collection event is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at St. Theresa Parish at 2800 E. Ramon Road in Palm Springs.

Blood collected through donations to LifeStream flows to more than 80 hospitals in Riverside, San Bernardino, Orange, Los Angeles, Ventura and San Diego counties.

LifeStream continues to struggle 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.

LifeStream has less than a one-day supply of Group O blood, and less than three days worth of Group B and A negative blood, according to the nonprofit, which is also continually 10% short on platelet donations needed for local hospital patients

According to LifeStream CEO and President Dr. Rick 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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