Weather having impact on blood banks as they are facing the worst deficits in 30 years

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Central California Blood Center officials are in the midst of what they call the perfect storm.

"We have flu going on, travel restrictions going on," said Dean Eller, CEO Central California Blood Center. "We are one accident away from being in real trouble because we are right on the cusp of what we need on a daily basis just to get by."

Back to back storm systems prompting dense fog, low elevation snow, and heavy rainfall are creating dangerous driving conditions. Not to mention keeping a lot of people indoors and not in the blood center.

Eller said right now they are calling on the community to give blood.

"Our blood supply is extremely fragile at the moment," Eller said. "We need every blood type, we are low on every blood type that we have."

The Central California Blood Center serves 30 hospitals in the five county areas and typically has enough blood to assist other blood banks in times of crisis.

"Most blood centers keep about a half a day to about three days of blood on the shelves. Right now we are at about a days' worth of blood. So we need people to get in because it takes about 2 days to process," said Eller.

Nationally this is one of the worst shortages they have seen in the last 30 years.

The other challenge for the Blood Center, all of their blood samples need to be tested for Zika. That can only be done in Phoenix, Arizona, so if flights are delayed so are those blood samples.
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