Tuesday, July 12, 2022

'Critically Low': Blood Bank Puts Out Urgent Call for Donors

Posted By on Tue, Jul 12, 2022 at 1:18 PM

The Northern California Community Blood Bank is putting out an urgent call for donors today, saying a series of factors have created a critial situation for
patient care on the North Coast.

Blood bank CEO Kate Witthaus noted in a news release that some trauma centers have been forced to close their doors under due to a lack of blood.

"We don’t ever want to see that happen here. But the national blood shortage continues, and our local supply is critically low," she said. "If you’ve never given blood before, now is the time to help save patient lives.”

Factors impacting the supply include a recent surge in COVID-19 cases that have sent collection rates plummeting to half of normal projections, the release states.

Blood bank spokesperson John Gullam described the sitution as "unsustainable" and said the greatest need is for "those people who have never donated, or who donated in the past but have gotten out of the habit, to step up right now” since the regular donors already contribued at a rate significantly higher than the national average.

The release also notes that recent changes in who is eligible to donate may now allow people who were previously "deferred" to give.

"If you have any questions about your eligibility to donate, call the Northern California Community Blood Bank at (707) 443-8004," the release states. "The blood bank asks that type O donors and those who don’t know their blood type make an appointment to donate as soon as possible at the Blood Center at 2524 Harrison Ave. in Eureka by going to nccbb.org or by calling (707) 443-8004."

Read the news release below:
The Northern California Community Blood Bank today announced that a number of factors, including low collections, have combined to create a situation considered critical in the care of patients on the Northcoast.

Blood Bank CEO Kate Witthaus said that “this year, some trauma centers across the country actually had to close their doors due to a lack of available blood. We don’t ever want to see that happen here. But the national blood shortage continues, and our local supply is critically low. If you’ve never given blood before, now is the time to help save patient lives.”

Impacted by a recent surge in COVID-19, blood collections have dropped significantly since the July 4th holiday weekend to levels half that of normal projections. Blood Bank spokesperson John Gullam calls the situation “unsustainable”.

With donation rates significantly higher than national averages by those who are regular donors, Gullam said “our greatest need is for those people who have never donated, or who donated in the past but have gotten out of the habit, to step up right now.”

Recent changes to donor eligibility requirements may allow people to donate who were previously deferred. If you have any questions about your eligibility to donate, call the Northern California Community Blood Bank at (707) 443-8004 The blood bank asks that type O donors and those who don’t know their blood type make an appointment to donate as soon as possible at the Blood Center at 2524 Harrison Ave. in Eureka by going to nccbb.org or by calling (707) 443-8004.
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Kimberly Wear

Bio:
Kimberly Wear is the assistant editor of the North Coast Journal.

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