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Hurricane Matthew victims in need of blood donations, platelets

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Posted at 12:59 PM, Oct 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-10 15:59:55-04

Due to Hurricane Matthew, blood drives in the Southeast coast have been canceled. This has impacted the blood supply and there is now a need for platelet and type O blood donations.

“We are asking all potential donors, both current and first-timers, to roll up a sleeve and make a commitment to donate blood as soon as possible,” said Dennis Todd, chair of the AABB Interorganizational Task Force on Domestic Disasters and Acts of Terrorism.

All platelets of all types, and type O blood, especially type O negative red blood cells, are of critical need.

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Houchin has been unable to help recently due to the low collections of these blood products. Only about half of the needed platelets are coming in each day, and the inventory levels of O positive and O negative blood have dipped too low to provide cushion necessary for existing patient needs.

"We really wish we could help, but we just don't have the products on hand to do so," said Carola Enriquez, Director of Community Development.

Platelets are critical to support patients on chemotherapy and with any bleeding disorder or trauma. Type O blood is the only type that can be safely transfused to most patients with other blood types and is frequently used in emergency situations.

Mobile drives in Kern County:

  • October 11 - Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 329 South Mill Street, Tehachapi
  • October 13 - Delano Regional Medical Center, 1401 Garces Highway, Delano
  • October 14 - Arvin High School, 900 Varsity Avenue, Arvin

Blood donors must be in good health, weight at least 110 pounds, and be 16 years of age or older. Donors under 18 must have a parental consent form.

Call (661) 323-4222 for more information on blood donation.