NewsCovering Kern County


Houchin Community Blood is low on blood and encourages community to donate

Blood Donation, Houchin Community Blood Bank, Kern Living
Posted at 10:40 PM, Dec 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-08 02:31:19-05

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — The shelves at the Houchin Community Blood are pretty empty and some have just a few pints of blood available but nowhere close to what the blood bank said they need to keep up with the demands at the rate that hospitals require blood. Those officials said the shortage could impact patients in several ways.

“We might hold off on surgeries so people’s care can be potentially delayed, and the danger is always us not having enough blood supply for somebody that’s traumatically injured. The things that we can’t prepare for,” said Kiyoshi Tomono from Adventist Health.

They told 23ABC it’s something that affects the entire community. Concerns have continued for months with no end in sight yet.

“You never know when you might get in a car accident, you might fall off a ladder or might have some kind of traumatic injury and might need a blood product. Some kind of blood transfusion in the ER and that’s why it’s there,” said Tomono.

There is a way to fix the problem.

“I try to donate blood as often as I can, which is every 56 days, platelets is probably about twice a month,” said Shane Hubbard a donor at Houchin Community Blood Bank.

It just may save a life.

“There’s somebody in a hospital or care center somewhere that is suffering, and I know that my donation can really help them out and make a big difference,” said Hubbard.

Hubbard is an employee and has been a regular donor at the Houchin Community Blood Bank for months now. He said the process that has the potential to help so many is easy and relatively painless.

“When I realized that it was such a small amount of time that I could to help someone not only live a better day but have a better day and fight whatever it is they’re dealing with. I said why wouldn’t I be doing this,” said Hubbard.

If you do go out and donate blood, you can save not just one, but up to three lives with a single donation.

“You can be in and out of the door in about 40-45 minutes and in the time, it takes you to drive to and from and then you go home knowing that you’ve helped at least three people live to see another day,” said Sean McNally president and CEO of Houchin Community Blood Bank.

Officials at Houchin said it’s safe to donate here because they follow COVID-19 protocols with distancing and sanitizing.

“We’re doing everything we can, everything in our power to make it as safe as it can possibly be,” said McNally.

It is a community problem requiring a community solution. Officials said every drop of blood or donation collected stays right here at home.

“So, your blood, your plasma, your platelets, stay in Kern County and help people in your community,” said McNally.

It also helps save lives.

“There isn’t one ounce of blood or one unit of blood or blood product that will not be used and stretched as far as it can go to help as many people as possible,” said McNally.

Hubbard said for him it’s all about giving back to the people who need it most.

“How much of a difference it makes for them and that really is kind of the fire that motivates me to do it continually,” said Hubbard.

If you want to donate you can schedule an appointment at the Houchin Community Blood Bank or find a location for amobile site near you. Visit their website for more information.