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17 Jan

Worse-than-Expected Flu Season Reduces Blood Donations in S.F. Bay Area – January 2018

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O-Negative type blood inventory down to precarious one-day supply                                                                                        

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – This year’s cold and flu season has been especially worse than usual, which is impacting blood donations across the country including the San Francisco Bay Area. Since the start of 2018, donation appointment cancellations at the six Blood Centers of the Pacific blood donation centers have increased due to the intense cold and flu season. In addition to the rise in cancelled appointments, community blood drives throughout the area are collecting much less blood than anticipated through the first days of the year. Reports of illness from volunteer blood drive chairpersons have been on the rise, resulting in lower donor attendance rates and causing additional concern for the collection trend in January.

The impacts of this exceptionally strong cold and flu season have made an additional impact to an already challenging period of time to collect blood donations, as holiday travel and other competing priorities affect the number of available blood donors in our community.

Blood Centers of the Pacific encourages anyone who is healthy and able to donate to make an appointment today at bloodheroes.com or by calling 888-393-GIVE. All blood types are requested with a critical emphasis on O-negative blood types.

Type O negative is the universal blood type and can be transfused to any patient.  This blood type is often used in emergency situations when doctors do not have time to check a patients’ blood type before transfusion.

Volunteer blood donors must be at least 16 years old, weigh a minimum of 110 pounds and be in good health. Additional height/weight requirements apply to donors 22 and younger, and donors ages 16 – 17 must have signed permission from a parent or guardian. For more information, visit bloodcenters.org