SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY, Calif. - As coronavirus cases and hospitalizations continue to soar, blood centers and hospitals are making an urgent plea for blood donations.
The region’s supply has dipped to alarmingly low levels. Lifestream Blood Bank in San Bernardino serves more than 80 hospitals in Southern California.
Officials say they only have a one-day supply or less.
LifeStream says the reasons for the historic shortage are many.
Fewer people have been coming into the blood bank to donate out of COVID-19 fears. Also, college, school, church, and office closures have limited their ability to hold blood drives the organization typically relies heavily upon.
Blood donations are critical for conducting important surgeries, trauma and cancer patients, and newborn babies.
LifeStream is also taking convalescent plasma donations. An antibody-rich serum made from the blood of recovering COVID-19 patients is used to treat the seriously ill.
LifeStream has extended its hours through the holidays in the hopes of replenishing its supply.