Press release from the Northern California Community Blood Bank:
The Northern California Community Blood Bank today announced that a number of factors, including low collections due to inclement weather, have combined to create a situation considered critical in the care of patients on the North Coast.
Blood Bank CEO Kate Witthaus said that “Rural hospital patients may have to wait many hours or even days for a transfusion. So we are very lucky here in Eureka to have a local blood bank that can deliver blood within minutes. That’s pretty special! 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 recent inclement weather, blood collections have dropped significantly in the month of February, to levels 28% below last year. Stormy weather and snowfall limits where the Blood Bank can send bloodmobiles, resulting in fewer blood drives. Additionally, fewer donors have been visiting the blood center. Blood Bank spokesperson John Gullam described the situation as dire, stating that “this shortage must be addressed immediately.”
“Our greatest need is for those people who have never donated,” states Gullam. “Now is also a great time to come back if you have donated in the past but have gotten out of the habit.”
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 anyone who doesn’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.