A severe need for blood donations has prompted a series of mobile drives conducted by LifeStream Blood Bank, including four set to take place next week in Palm Springs which will include screening for COVID-19 antibodies.
The series of drives will begin July 1 at Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs from noon to 5 p.m. Drives will be held at Palm Springs Air Museum, 745 N. Gene Autry Trail, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 2-4.
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 a patient is 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, organization 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 goes 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.
Appointments can be made by calling 800-879-4484 or online at www.lstream.org.
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