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Blood bank puts out urgent call for donations; supplies 'dangerously' low

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 an urgent call for blood donations Monday, saying local supply levels have dropped "dangerously" low.

The blood bank will run out of special kits to specifically collect blood from those who donate "double reds" — essentially 2 units of donated blood in one appointment — this week due to supply chain issues. Additional donors are needed to fill the gap, according to the nonprofit's CEO.

"We need healthy people to come in for a whole blood or platelet donation immediately in order to keep enough supply on hand for patients in our local hospitals," said San Diego Blood Bank CEO Doug Morton. "It's easy and convenient — wherever you live or work, you're most likely within 10 minutes of one of our donor centers or mobile blood drives."

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Typically, the holiday season is a tough time to collect blood as high schools and colleges are out for winter break and not hosting their regular blood drives, people are traveling and busy with holiday plans, and blood donation is not top of mind for most people, according to the blood bank.

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 the San Diego Blood Bank or by calling 619-400-8251.