Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Watch Live

KPBS Midday Edition

Sharp To Hold Blood Drive Amid Drop In Donations Due To Flu

Promotional photo of packages of blood in a blood bank.
© Ocean/Corbis
Promotional photo of packages of blood in a blood bank.
Sharp To Hold Blood Drive Amid Drop In Donations Due To Flu
Sharp To Hold Blood Drive Amid Drop In Donations Due To Flu GUEST: Susan Stone, CEO, Sharp Coronado Hospital

>> The flu season has had 142 deaths. There has been another consequence. And Diego blood bank said the blood supply has also taken a hit. They have issued a plea for donations. Joining me to explain why is Susan Stone. >> Thank you very much. >> Has your hospital been feeling the impact of this year's flu and -- epidemic? >> Yes. We have had a peek as a result of the high flu season. >> One has the ER look like? >> It is busier than ever. It has resulted in long waits. The community is frustrated with that. We are so pleased that patients continue to come to us. We take care of them as quickly as possible. We also educate the people of the community on when to come to the hospital and went to the doctor. >> Are people sicker this year? >> The flu strain this year has particularly impacted those with chronic illness. It has hit them harder. It is a harder virus at the beginning. It is a vigorous virus. It has impacted the chronically ill very much. Also the elderly. >> What is the connection between the flu outbreak in the region's blood supply? >> When you have people with chronic illness that come to the hospital and have the flu, they have other things that go on within their body. Therefore we have a higher demand on the blood supply that is available. In addition there has been bad weather in the nation. People may not be feeling well and may not be as motivated to donate. Also people have not gone out to donate because of the weather. >> What kind of notification causes the need to receive? >> If the flu causes an organ failure situation, their body is not building up reserves in the blood supply. And we may have the need to give blood. It is a supply and demand issue right now. We have not had enough folks donating and we have the increased need with the admissions into the hospitals. It is a double whammy. We are in an urgent need to ask our community to come in and help us to meet the blood donation needs. >> To other regions of the country rely on places like San Diego during the winter? If they run short on their blood supply. >> Regions try to meet their own needs. However we do share blood with one another to make sure our communities are healthy and well. >> I imagine that there are people who are can't fling their appointments for blood donations because they are sick? >> Absolutely. We absolutely's work that. If you are not feeling well, please take care of yourself and stay home. When you're up to it, we would love to have you come and share with us. Our goal to donate 1000 units for the San Diego community. >> How critical is the situation in San Diego I >> The San Diego blood bank recently released information that it is the worst shortage since 2006. They are in an imperative need for rare blood types. If people know their blood types, please come in and help us. >> People hearing this may be are people that do not usually donate blood. How should they prepare? What do they need to do and what do they need to feel like? >> You need to be feeling your normal self and not experiencing flu or cold-like symptoms. We would love to have them come out. As part of the process, there are nurses that scream and ask special questions on how you're feeling and make sure that you are up to your health needs. If not they will let you know. >> If someone does have the flu or has had the flu, how soon after my to be considered healthy enough to donate blood. -- Blood? >> Your body will tell you. Typically we want people to feel well for five days after the symptoms subside so that they can get back to their normal state of health. >> Where's the blood donations are taking place? >> The blood Drive on Saturday from Admiral-6 PM is located at the corporate office. 8695 spectrum center court. We have registration for the process. We cannot take everyone all at once. We asked people to register at >> I have been speaking with Susan's tone. Thank you very much. -- Susan Stone. Tank you very much.

The current flu season has had devastating consequences in San Diego County with thousands of confirmed cases and a record number of flu-related deaths. But there has been another consequence of the flu epidemic, a drop in blood donations.

RELATED: San Diego Blood Bank Calls For Donations In Honor Of Father Joe

The San Diego Blood Bank issued a call for donations this month after a drop in contributions due to donors who cancelled appointments after getting sick with the flu.


Sharp HealthCare is holding a blood drive Saturday in Kearny Mesa with the goal of collecting 1,000 units of blood in 2018.

RELATED: The San Diego Blood Bank Putting Greater Focus On Research

Susan Stone, CEO at Sharp Coronado Hospital, discusses the need for blood donations and what donors should know before they give blood, Thursday on Midday Edition.

Sharp HealthCare Blood Drive

When: Saturday, 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Where: 8695 Spectrum Center Blvd.

Appointment Information