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Blood donations drop as storms hit SLO County

The City of San Luis Obispo Recreation Department sponsored a blood drive in February. Julie Ferguson of Atascadero, right, waits for Santinia Giannia, RN with United Blood Services, left, to begin the blood draw.
The City of San Luis Obispo Recreation Department sponsored a blood drive in February. Julie Ferguson of Atascadero, right, waits for Santinia Giannia, RN with United Blood Services, left, to begin the blood draw. ldickinson@thetribunenews.com

Recent storms and inclement weather in San Luis Obispo County have negatively affected blood donor turnouts at a time when the nation’s blood supply already was recovering from low donor turnout over the holiday, according to United Blood Services.

All blood types are needed, but the need for Type O-negative (the universal donor) blood is the most urgent, as it is used for premature infants and in emergency situations in which there is no time to test for blood type.

Platelet donations also are needed, as the shelf life on those donations is only five days. Blood and red blood cell donations can last up to 42 days.

To make an appointment to donate, go to www.blood4life.org or call 805-543-4290, ext. 0.

For a list of donation center locations and hours, go to www.unitedbloodservices.org.

Donors must be at least 16 years of age, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in good health. Donors aged 16 and 17 must have signed consent from a parent or legal guardian.

Blood donation takes about an hour. Donors can save 20 minutes by completing their Fast Track Health History the day they donate at www.bloodsystems.org/health.

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