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Photo courtesy of Red Cross

‘O’ So Needed: Red Cross Critically In Need Of Blood Donations

With less than a three-day supply of type O blood available for patient emergencies and medical treatments, the American Red Cross has extended an urgent call for donors of all blood types to give blood or platelets, officials said.

With influenza escalating across the country and preventing some donors from giving, and winter weather threatening to cancel blood drives, the Red Cross now has a critical shortage of type O blood and urgently needs donors to restock the shelves.

Currently, the Red Cross has less than a three-day supply of type O blood available for patient emergencies and medical treatments. Type O positive blood is the most transfused blood type and can be given to Rh-positive patients of any blood type, officials said.

While just 7 percent of the U.S. population has type O negative blood, it can be transfused to patients with any blood type and is what hospital staff reach for during emergencies when there isn’t time to determine a patient’s blood type, according to Red Cross officials.

Every day, the Red Cross must collect nearly 13,000 blood donations and more than 2,600 platelet donations for patients who rely on blood to survive. Shortfalls in donations can cause delays in essential medical care for patients like 12-year-old Dagan Hawkins.

Diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in November, Dagan has required platelet and blood transfusions during his cancer treatments.

“There was a time when they needed to have blood products delivered from another hospital because they were unavailable there,” said Dustin Hawkins, Dagan’s father.

Several blood drives are scheduled to take place over the next month in and around the Santa Clarita Valley in an effort to allow the Red Cross to collect enough blood to avert “disaster,” said officials.

Donors of all blood types – especially types O positive and O negative – can make an appointment to give blood or platelets now using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities in the Santa Clarita Valley:

Canyon Country

  • 2/11/2020: 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., College of the Canyons, 17200 Sierra Highway

Castaic           

  • 1/29/2020: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., SCVi Charter School, 28060 Hasley Canyon Road, Suite 200

Santa Clarita       

  • 1/22/2020: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., Santa Clarita Old West Masonic Lodge, 19310 Avenue of the Oaks
  • 1/24/2020: 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Old Town Newhall Library, 24500 Main Street
  • 1/29/2020: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., Santa Clarita Old West Masonic Lodge, 19310 Avenue of the Oaks
  • 2/12/2020: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., Santa Clarita Old West Masonic Lodge, 19310 Avenue of the Oaks
  • 2/2/2020: 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., Best Buy, 26531 Bouquet Canyon Road
  • 2/5/2020: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., Santa Clarita Old West Masonic Lodge, 19310 Avenue of the Oaks
  • 2/8/2020: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Santa Clarita Old West Masonic Lodge, 19310 Avenue of the Oaks

Valencia

  • 1/31/2020: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Mission View Public Charter High School, 26334 Citrus Street
  • 2/12/2020: 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Southern California Innovation Park, 25134 Rye Canyon Loop, Suite 300
  • 2/3/2020: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., California Institute of the Arts, 24700 McBean Parkway
  • 2/5/2020: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Honda Performance Development, 25145 Anza Drive
  • 2/7/2020: 11:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., Total Woman Valencia, 24245 Magic Mountain Parkway

For a full list of blood donation opportunities, visit the Red Cross website.

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‘O’ So Needed: Red Cross Critically In Need Of Blood Donations

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About Jade Aubuchon

A Santa Clarita native, Jade has spent her whole life involved in community outreach. After graduating from Learning Post High in 2015, she went on to College of the Canyons to pursue a double major in English and Marketing. Jade spent several years as a ballroom dance performer for a local studio and has performed at public and private events throughout Santa Clarita.