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As Hurricane Ian hits land, blood and platelets are needed, San Diego Blood Bank says

A San Diegan donates blood at the San Diego Blood Bank's main office, Dec. 2019.
Andi Dukleth
/
KPBS
A San Diegan donates blood at the San Diego Blood Bank's main office, Dec. 2019.

The San Diego Blood Bank put out a call on Thursday for eligible donors to schedule a blood or platelet donation as soon as possible as Hurricane Ian reaches Florida and moves throughout the Southeast with dangerous storm surges, winds and flooding.

"Our community always responds when we put out the call for blood donations locally, and we hope for continued support in case further assistance is needed in other parts of the country," CEO Doug Morton said. "San Diego Blood Bank has provided platelets to help with this effort and we will stay in touch with blood centers in the area to further assist if needed."

The need for platelets is particularly urgent, given that they have a limited shelf life of five days and that the expected breadth and duration of the storm will likely have an impact large sections of the Southeast. On average, blood collection organizations nationwide had only one to two days' supply of blood heading into the storm.

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Anticipated disruptions in blood collections — as well as transportation challenges — in Florida and the Southeast throughout the next several days are likely to exacerbate already low inventories, particularly in the affected areas, a blood bank statement reads.

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 are encouraged to schedule an appointment at SanDiegoBloodBank.org or calling 619-400-8251.

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