Southern California facing blood shortage

September 2, 2007

The American Red Cross Blood Services of Southern California is facing a potential year-long drought due to a lack of adults donating blood, experts say.

Blood experts said that with only 3 percent of adults in Southern California giving blood, the region could soon find itself in a lengthy shortage in which hospitals will not have the blood supplies they need to operate efficiently, the Los Angeles Times said Sunday.

The nationwide average for adults donating blood is 5 percent and Southern California's hospitals need 1,500 units of blood daily to maintain normal operations.

"We don't have a blood supply problem, we have a blood donor problem," said Teresa Solorio, spokeswoman for American Red Cross Blood Services of Southern California. "It's easier to get people to donate money than to donate blood."

Particularly troubling to regional officials is what would occur should a disaster strike the region sometime in the near future.

The Times said until blood donations increase, officials there have begun importing blood from the Midwest to meet the current medical demand.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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