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San Diego Blood Bank issues call for donations as supplies run 'dangerously low'

The blood bank is particularly looking for type O-positive donors. It is uncommon for supplies to be so low this time of year.

SAN DIEGO — San Diego Blood Bank issued an urgent call for blood donations Tuesday, particularly from type O-positive donors, as supply across the country has reached "dangerously low levels" -- an uncommon occurrence for this time of year.

With the recent COVID-19 case surge and continued spreading of the Delta variant, San Diego Blood Bank and other blood centers across the country are experiencing abnormal decline in donor turnout. 

Additionally, mobile blood drives normally hosted by schools and businesses continue to be canceled. These collection challenges have disrupted the nation's blood supply, resulting in low inventories of blood products for patients in need.

"All types are needed, but San Diego Blood Bank's average monthly supply of O positive blood is the lowest it's been in over a decade," said Claudine Van Gonka, director of community relations and marketing for the blood bank. "It is critical that we stabilize our blood supply so hospitals are not forced to alter treatment for some patients or cancel surgeries."

In addition to donations, San Diego Blood Bank is urging individuals, schools, business and other community organizations to host blood drives. 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.

To be eligible to donate blood, you must be at least 17 years old, weigh at least 114 pounds, and be in general good health. Eligible blood donors can schedule an appointment at SanDiegoBloodBank.org or calling 619-400-8251.

WATCH RELATED: San Diego Blood Bank facing shortage, issues urgent call for donations - Sept. 3, 2021

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