Critical Need for Blood Donations on the Westside

American Red Cross, UCLA Health continue to face a national blood emergency

By Dolores Quintana 

The American Red Cross continues to face a national blood emergency. There is a critical need for Americans of all blood types to step up and donate not just blood but platelets and convalescent blood plasma as well, which can be used to ease the suffering of people who have Covid.  All of these life-saving donations can make the difference between life and death for trauma victims, cancer patients and people with blood disorders. Convalescent blood plasma from people who have recently recovered from Covid is just as important with the ongoing pandemic. 

As the Red Cross website says, “The Red Cross is experiencing the worst blood shortage in over a decade. The dangerously low blood supply levels have forced some hospitals to defer patients from major surgery, including organ transplants. Your donation is desperately needed.”

You can also contact The Red Cross through their donation app, at their donation webpage or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Everyone who donates to the Red Cross until February 28 will receive a free $10 Amazon gift card via email thanks to Amazon.com. 

UCLA Health has also put out an urgent request specifically for convalescent plasma donations. If you have recovered from Covid 19 in the last six months, all you have to do is “email a copy of your positive testing results, your name, and telephone number to gotblood@mednet.ucla.edu and a convalescent plasma donation coordinator will contact you to schedule your life saving donation!” The UCLA Blood & Platelet Center has an informational page here and the page where you can go to schedule an appointment or find a local blood drive on the Westside or elsewhere in Los Angeles is here.

The statement from UCLA Blood & Platelet Center is very succinct on this crisis, “On behalf of the UCLA Blood & Platelet Center, I would like to thank you for your past donation with our center. No words can aptly capture the gift you have given by donating blood and blood components for our UCLA patients.  

Although the pandemic is improving in our region, there is still a need for blood as hospital demands continue to outpace donations. There is a severe blood shortage affecting our center and blood suppliers across the nation such as the American Red Cross. The shortage is expected to continue for the foreseeable future.

UCLA patients remain in dire need of life-saving blood products and immediate action is necessary to avoid negative effects to patients. While we recognize that our lives are returning to pre-pandemic activities, we respectfully ask that you donate blood and encourage your friends and family to donate to support patients in our community. 

Please donate whole blood or apheresis platelets at one of our centers or mobile sites.  You may schedule your appointment online at https://www.uclahealth.org/gotblood/ or by calling (310) 825-0888, select option 2.”

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