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San Diego Blood Bank facing shortage, issues urgent call for donations

Eligible blood donors are encouraged to schedule an appointment at SanDiegoBloodBank.org
Credit: KFMB

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — The San Diego Blood Bank has issued an urgent call for donations, in the wake of canceled mobile blood drives due to increased COVID-19 cases.

More than 50 San Diego Blood Bank mobile blood drives have been canceled since the beginning of August, according to Claudine Van Gonka, the SDBB's community relations and marketing director.

"We need to make up for the hundreds of pints we would have collected at the canceled mobile drives," Van Gonka said. "We also stand ready to help other blood centers if needed, so we need individuals and groups to donate at one of our eight donation locations or existing mobile drives as soon as possible."

Along with a new surge of COVID-19 cases, SDBB is preparing to help facilities such as The Blood Center in New Orleans, which anticipates the need for blood next week as hospitals in the area ramp back up in the wake of hurricane Ida, Van Gonka said.

To date, SDBB has a three-day or less supply of most blood types on the shelves. A seven- to 10-day supply is considered ample.

Anyone wanting to donate blood must be at least 17 years old and general good health, and weigh at least 114 pounds. Eligible blood donors are encouraged to schedule an appointment at SanDiegoBloodBank.org or calling 1-800- 4-MY-SDBB (1-800-469-7322).

Claudine Van Gonka, the SDBB's community relations and marketing director talks one-on-one with News 8 about the urgent need for blood donations.