Officials say heat bringing blood donations almost to a halt

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Every three weeks without fail, Patrick Eads donates much needed platelets and makes his appointment rain, shine, or heat wave.

"It's air conditioned here, it's not really a problem it's actually very comfortable in here. It's actually more comfortable here than say my apartment."

But at the Central California Blood Center, on the hottest day of the year, Eads is an anomaly.

Dean Eller, President and CEO of the Central California Blood Center, said, "As you can see in our donor room there's nobody here."

Eller said summertime slow down isn't unusual, but the heat wave is bringing their donations to almost a halt.

"It's unfortunate because we still have to have an x number of units each and every day to meet basic needs."

When those basic needs aren't met they have to call other cities and states to import blood. Which could happen soon, since Eller said there has been an increase in traumas and at Valley Children's Hospital; more children are being seen for heat related problems.

"The worst symptoms leading into heat stroke would be the confusion and the hallucinations into seizures and eventually unconsciousness," said Carlos Flores, Valley Children's Hospital nurse.

Doctors say when the temperatures reach the triple digits it is important to stay cool. Volunteers at the blood center invite you to kill two birds with one heat wave.
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