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Local News

Inland Empire Blood Banks Crucially Low on Supply

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Department of Defense Inspector General
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Processing of bags and vials of blood.

Lifestream Blood Bank announced Wednesday that they have less than a day's supply of red blood cells.

Lifestream is the primary supplier of blood for hospitals across the Inland Empire. During their last shortage in September, Lifestream Presiden Dr. Rick Axlerod spoke to KVCR.

"We're most in need of group-O blood, and that's because it's for universal donors. So whether you're O-positive or negative, that gives us the best opportunity to use that blood for any patient," said Axelrod.

According to Lifestreams Wednesday release, several local hospitals have no O-type blood available. Axelrod added, "We need hundreds of units of blood donated every single day, just to keep the hospitals running."

Besides O blood type, they are low on all other blood types. If the shortage were to continue, local hospitals would most likely have to cancel some surgeries and not have enough blood for severe traumas.

Axelrod said, "And the simple act of donating a unit of blood can save up to three lives, and I think that's a really wonderful thing for people to be thinking about."

If you'd like to learn more about Lifestream and find a location near you, you can visit their website at www.lstream.org.