A severe need for blood donations has prompted a series of mobile drives organized by LifeStream Blood Bank, including three set to take place next week in Coachella Valley, and the process now includes screening for COVID-19 antibodies.
LifeStream will set up on June 23 at Our Savior’s Palm Springs, 1020 E. Ramon Road, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Another blood drive is slated for June 25 at Signature Flight Support in Palm Springs, 250 N. Cielo Road, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
And local television station KESQ will host a drive on June 26 at 31276 Dunham Way, slated for 8 a.m. to noon.
Anyone feeling sick is advised to not attempt to give blood. Potential donors must wear face coverings while donating, have their temperatures checked and complete a review of possible COVID-19 symptoms in order to donate.
Antibody tests are used to uncover past viral infections, but do not replace nasal or oral swabs used to determine whether or not a patient is currently contagious.
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, LifeStream spokesman Don Escalante said.
About 5,000 pints of blood were effectively lost from mid-March through the end of May, he said. Blood collected through donations to LifeStream flows to more than 80 hospitals in Riverside, San Bernardino, Orange, Los Angeles, Ventura and San Diego counties.
Potential donors 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. Donors under 17 years old must bring written consent from a parent.
For appointments, call 800-879-4484 or visit www.lstream.org.