Cedars-Sinai Monday issued an urgent plea to healthy residents in the Los Angeles area to donate blood as a result of a critical shortage in supply during the holiday season and amid the surge in COVID-19 patients.

The holiday months are traditionally a difficult time for blood banks and the shortage has intensified in the midst of the pandemic, which has halted community blood drives at schools and other locations.

The American Red Cross and other blood suppliers are struggling to restore their inventories in the wake of serious shortages experienced over the past year, according to Cedars.

As one of the few Level I trauma centers in Los Angeles, Cedars-Sinai patients receive transfusions of more than 30,000 units of red blood cells, 7,000 units of platelets and 11,000 units of plasma every year, according to the medical center.

Those who are in good health and otherwise eligible are encouraged to donate blood and platelets for patients at Cedars-Sinai to help ease the strain on the national blood supply.

Blood Donor Services is open Monday through Saturday in the hospital’s South Tower, Room 1690. Donation hours are: Monday, Thursday and Friday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Tuesday and Wednesday, 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.; and Saturdays from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

To schedule a donation, call Blood Donor Services at 310-423-4170 or email blooddonorservices@cshs.org.

For more information, see www.cedars-sinai.org/programs/blood-donor-services.html.

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