Critical need for blood donations in the Westside

American Red Cross and UCLA Health continue to deal with national blood emergency

By Dolores Quintana

The American Red Cross continues to deal with a national blood emergency. There is a critical need for Americans of all blood types to step up and donate not just blood, but also platelets and convalescent blood plasma, which can be used to alleviate the suffering of people with Covid. All of these vital donations can mean 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 equally important with the ongoing pandemic.

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

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

UCLA Health also issued an urgent request specifically for convalescent plasma donations. If you have recovered from Covid 19 within the past six months, all you need to do is “email a copy of your positive test results, name and phone number to [email protected] mednet.ucla.edu and a Convalescent Plasma Donation Coordinator will send you to contact you to schedule your lifesaving donation! The UCLA Blood & Platelet Center has an information page here and the page where you can go to make an appointment or find a local blood drive in the Westside or elsewhere in Los Angeles is here.

The statement from the UCLA Blood & Platelet Center is very succinct about 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 accurately describe the gift you have given by donating blood and blood components to our patients at UCLA.

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

UCLA patients continue to urgently need lifesaving blood products and immediate action is needed to avoid adverse patient effects. 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 can book an appointment online at https://www.uclahealth.org/gotblood/ or by calling (310) 825-0888, select option 2.”

Comments are closed.