San Diego Blood Bank announced a need for those who have not given blood recently to consider donating as soon as possible.
The need for blood is expected to increase as Labor Day approaches and supplies are reaching critically low levels, the San Diego Blood Bank announced Thursday.
The blood shortage is not just in San Diego, but nationwide.
“This summer is a difficult time not only for us here in San Diego but across the country as well,” said SD Blood Bank Chief Executive Officer David Wells. “There is no substitute for blood—donations are critically needed.”
Blood transfusions are used for hospital patients who experience blood loss due to trauma, as well as those battling blood disorders like aplastic anemia, sickle cell anemia and leukemia, according to the SD Blood Bank website.
Blood bank replenishment is necessary because blood has a shelf life of only 42 days, and blood platelets, which are used for burn victims and cancer patients, only last five days, according to the Miller-Keystone Blood Center.
The SD Blood Bank said eligibility requirements are the donor must be at least 17 years old, weigh at least 114 pounds and feel healthy without cold or flu-like symptoms. Sixteen year olds are also allowed to donate, with parental consent.
An eligible donor can give blood every eight weeks, according to The American Red Cross.
The SD Blood Bank encourages people to become regular donors because only five percent of those eligible to donate actually do, according to the SD Blood Bank fact sheet. O positive and O negative blood types are especially needed.
Those interested in donating blood can call 1-800-4-MY-SDBB or visit the SD Blood Bank website.