Valley hospitals, blood centers urgently need your help

Blood centers are asking everyone with any blood type who is able to please consider donating to help save the lives of Central Valley residents.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Central California Blood Center says they're in dire need of donors to save the lives of Valley residents.

The blood center says teens and adults supply 25% of blood in the nation.

But with so many schools forced to close during the pandemic, the drives that bring in donors had to be stopped.

The blood center has been able to get by with a series of events, including ABC30's Pint for Pint blood drive.

But in September, things took a turn, as donations dropped and demand surged.

"We need blood tomorrow. We have people in our hospitals waiting for surgeries. We need to stock up the blood to be able to do these surgeries. It's a very serious blood shortage across the country and in our Central Valley," says Christopher Staub, the president and CEO of the Central California Blood Center.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, 284 drives have been canceled in the Valley, resulting in the loss of more than 10,000 pints of blood.

The blood center says at least 250 people in the Valley require a blood transfusion every single day.

For hospitals, the impact is on the hundreds of patients needing urgent care.

"Elective surgeries, major operations...anything that's not an emergency may have to get postponed or canceled because of the blood shortage because surgeons can't afford to take that risk of blood loss if there's not blood there to replace," said Fresno County health officer Dr. Rais Vohra.

This also means trauma doctors are left having to look into other ways to treat patients and conserving the little blood they have in stock.

"We will not be able to give care appropriate for crashes and gunshot wounds and that will interfere in what type of treatments we give our patients," said Dr. Neydi Salaverri-Edmonds of CRMC.

With a nationwide shortage of blood, officials say they have nowhere else to turn, except to members of the community.

They ask everyone with any blood type who is able to please consider donating to help save the lives of Central Valley residents.

For more information on where and when you can donate, click here.
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