Severe winter weather in some parts of the country and an overactive cold and flu season have caused blood supplies to drop nationwide.
And while weather has been mild in the North State, there’s still a big need for local donors.
“So there's a huge need right now for blood of all types,” Cristy Kidd of BloodSource said. “There's always a need for O-negative of course, but there's the need for all types right now.”
But cold and flu season has also caused a increase in appointment cancellations from regular donors.
And ER medical director for Shasta Regional Medical Center Dr. James Taggert said the North State has been hit hard by the flu this season.
“Well, we're seeing a dramatic increase in our emergency department volume,” Taggart said. “We have a lot of patients, an increasing number of patients that are requiring admission.”
Kidd said one of the basic requirements Bloodsource has for donating blood is that you be healthy.
“So it's been kind of rough lately that a lot of our regular donors have been sick,” she said. “So we've had to try to make up elsewhere.”
So BloodSource is asking everyone who is healthy to visit their office or one of several upcoming blood drives to give blood.
“So we're asking anyone who maybe hasn't donated in awhile or has thought about donating but has been a little nervous, this is the time to get over that and come on out to help make up for that loss,” Kidd said.
And now would be the time to donate because Taggert said the flu epidemic could be getting worse before it gets better.
“We've reached the epidemic threshold I believe it was last week,” he said. “And we may see another peak here later in the four to five weeks.”
Taggert said you need to wait 7 days before donating if you have been sick.
And if do you become sick within two weeks of giving blood, you need to notify the blood bank.
BloodSource is holding two blood drives Wednesday.
The first will be in the City of Shasta Lake at the Sentry Market, from 10-2, and in Red Bluff at the Veterans Memorial Building from 2-6.
And if you like movies, you can score a free movie ticket with your blood donation Friday at Redding's Cinemark 14 from 2-6.
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