Stanford Blood Center faces critical shortage of blood, notes the flu is keeping potential donors away

Written by Alia Paavola | January 11, 2018 | Print  |

Stanford Blood Center in Palo Alto, Calif., which provides blood to four local hospitals, issued an urgent call for O-negative blood donations due to a critical shortage, reports Mercury News.

The blood center only carries a two-day supply of O-negative blood, a crucial and rare blood type that is compatible with any patient, and is in need of platelet donors.

A publicist for the blood center, Loren Magaña, told Mercury News the critical shortage resulted from a lack of blood donations over the holidays and higher-than-normal blood demand caused by a high number of surgeries at the four local hospitals.

While response to the blood center's announcement brought in more donors, the debilitating flu season and spike in traffic fatalities due to recent heavy rains caused the supply of O-negative blood to quickly head back to a one-day reserve, notes Mr. Magaña.

"This is particularly bad and probably worse than any shortages we've seen in the past couple of years," Mr. Magaña said, according to the report.

If the supply falls short of demand, the blood center plans to acquire blood from other facilities — though this process can often take 24 hours.

Stanford Blood Center says they are seeking donations for any type of blood. Donors must be in good health with no cold or flu symptoms, must eat well prior to the donation and present a photo ID at the time of the donation.

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