Blood service center Vitalant held a blood drive in Santa Maria on Tuesday in an ongoing effort to prevent supply shortages in hospitals amid coronavirus concerns.
Over the past weeks, Vitalant has reported possessing only a two-day blood supply at any time, half the sufficient amount to treat the average number of patients in need.
Santa Maria spokesman Mark van de Kamp said he was pleased to see city staff as well community members taking the time to donate at the Vitalant bloodmobile stationed across from the Public Library on Tuesday afternoon.
A total of 17 units of blood were donated at the drive, according to Mona Kleman, senior manager of donor recruitment at Vitalant in San Luis Obispo. She added that Santa Maria city employees have been committed to donating blood to Vitalant for over 15 years.
"We have been conducting drives with the Santa Maria city employees all the way back to 2004, resulting in several thousand units of lifesaving blood, so we are very grateful to that agency for working with us all these years," Kleman said.
Vitalant Central Coast is most in need of Type O-negative, the universal blood type, as well as positive or negative Type AB blood and platelets. Type AB platelets can be used for all patients and are especially needed for trauma and neonatal patients.
The blood service center encourages those who are healthy and able to donate either by making an appointment with one of the Central Coast Vitalant centers or by donating at blood drives.
Another blood drive will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, March 30, at Marian Regional Medical Center. Signups are available on the Vitalant website.
Blood, plasma and platelets donations also can be made most days of the work week at the Vitalant Santa Maria Donation Center, 1770 S. Broadway.
Laura Place covers city government for the Santa Maria Times.
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