Blood donations reach critical low, could soon affect Valley hospitals

The Central California Blood Center has sounded the alarm in desperate need of donations.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Central California Blood Center has sounded the alarm in desperate need of donations.

Officials say the blood supply has reached critically low levels, which could affect Central Valley hospital patients.

To supply enough blood to hospitals across the five counties in Central California, the blood center needs around 5,000 units a month.

Right now, they're hundreds of units short.

With climbing COVID-19 cases, and the looming cold and flu season, the demand for blood could soon be greater than the current resources.

"If there isn't a steady supply of blood products, they're going to hold off on as many surgeries as they can, well all surgeries are necessary," said Ersilia Lacaze with the Central California Blood Center. "The worst-case scenario is we truly cannot, as a community, care for our people if there is not enough blood to do so."

Blood has a shelf life of only 42 days, so the need for donors is constant.

The pandemic has canceled dozens of blood drives, so organizers are hoping more people will sign up online at donateblood.org.

Those who are healthy are eligible to donate every eight weeks.
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