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Thousands of San Diegans Expected to Donate Blood

Thousands of San Diegans Expected to Donate Blood

The 30th annual Chargers blood drive will take place tomorrow (Tuesday) at the Town and Country Convention Center in Mission Valley. San Diego Blood Bank officials are expecting thousands of donors. KPBS Reporter Kenny Goldberg has more.

Blood Bank officials concede they have a stable supply right now. But they say donations are still needed, because the shelf life for red blood cells is only 42 days. Platelets, primarily used for cancer patients, have a shelf life of only five days.

Lynn Sted is with the San Diego Blood Bank. She says it's the right time for the Chargers blood drive.

Lynn Sted: Mainly because the demand never takes a holiday. Patients are using blood 365 days a year. And unfortunately during holiday time frames we tend to see more trauma-type injuries.

U.S. health officials say 37 percent of Americans are eligible to donate blood. Only about ten percent do so every year.

Kenny Goldberg, KPBS News.