LifeStream Blood Bank, the community's blood supplier, cannot meet the needs of area hospitals. Approximately 90 percent of hospital Type O orders are going unfulfilled.

As of Thursday, Jan. 12, seven area hospitals have zero or low Type O inventory on their shelves, and LifeStream does not have the supply to meet patient needs. Hospitals requested over 1,000 pints of Type O blood products needed for transfusion-dependent patients, childbirths, surgeries, trauma preparedness and other procedures. LifeStream only has 48 pints of Type O available for its entire service area of 80 hospitals.

“Hospitals are being put on notice to implement blood conservation efforts and prioritize patients' blood needs based on the available supply,” said Dr. Rick Axelrod, LifeStream's president/CEO and medical director. “All eligible donors who are feeling healthy and well are immediately requested to give blood over the next few days. The community must rebuild the blood supply to keep hospitals prepared to meet patient needs.”

O negative blood is regularly used for babies in neonatal intensive care units at local hospitals. O negative blood is always urgently needed because it is the universal blood type, which can be given to any patient. O positive blood is the most common blood type and also always urgently needed.

LifeStream has donor centers in San Bernardino, Riverside, Ontario, Victorville, Murrieta, La Quinta, Rancho Mirage, Placentia and Hemet and conducts mobile blood drives throughout its service area. Eligibility requirements for all donors can be found at www.lstream.org/about-donating/who-can-donate/. All donors should be feeling healthy and well and present a current photo ID. Walk-ins are welcomed, appointments are encouraged. To make an appointment, call (800) 879-4484 or visit LStream.org.

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