Urgent Blood Drive held at Clovis, Fresno hospitals on Friday

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Central California Blood Center set up shop in the right place, just outside both the Community Regional Medical Center and Clovis Community Medical Center.

Many people who work in healthcare stopped by to donate a pint of blood.

"I think just giving back to the community is a great thing, helping save someone's life," says Kristin Eachus. It's a simple donation you can make and it can make a big difference in someone else's."

The Blood Center says it has entered the new year with a blood supply shortage.

Inventory levels are low, so it is concentrating on more outreach events like this one.

"It is critically low, unfortunately right now," says Ersilia Lacaze. "This time of year, certainly leading up to the holidays and then shortly after the holidays, folks are just busy."

Lacaze is the Marketing Director and says one in every seven patients entering a hospital will need some type of blood product, so it's essential the supply doesn't dip too low.

But Lacaze is also concerned about a nationwide trend she has noticed.

"Unfortunately, the donor base in general across the country has been declining for a long time," Lacaze said. "I think we as blood centers need to do a better job of educating folks on the importance of donating."

The Blood Center says one pint of blood can potentially save three lives.

Those who came out to donate say it's easy and only takes about 10 minutes.

Nicholas McGuire had a difficult time when he tried to donate blood 20 years ago, but that didn't stop him from getting back into the chair.

"Well I work for Donor Network West, so we do organ tissue transplants for this region here, so I know how important donating is," McGuire said. "And so my co-worker mentioned she wanted to come out and donate blood."

The Central California Blood Center welcomes all blood types but is always looking out for O donors positive and negative. O negative is a rare but universal blood type.
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