Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital is hosting two blood drives next week to support the American Red Cross as it continues to face a severe blood shortage due to an unprecedented number of blood-drive cancellations during the coronavirus outbreak.
Blood drives give the Red Cross 80% of its blood supply, and as of Sunday, approximately 6,000 blood drives were canceled, resulting in at least 200,000 fewer blood donations.
Right now, there is a critical need for blood and platelets, so eligible and healthy donors are strongly urged to make an appointment to provide life-saving blood products to patients, per the Red Cross.
“One of the most important things you can do to ensure we don’t have another health care crisis on top of the coronavirus is to give blood,” read a Red Cross news release issued last week. “We understand why people may be hesitant to come out for a blood drive, but we want to reassure the public that we are taking additional precautions to ensure the safety of our donors and staff.”
Many don’t realize that blood is perishable and has a shelf life of 42 days, according to Red Cross Communications Manager Christine Welsh.
“That’s why we constantly need donors in the community to come out and give,” Welsh said in a previous Signal interview.
Donors must be in good health, weigh at least 110 pounds and be at least 17 years old.
Henry Mayo’s blood drives are scheduled 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on April 1 and noon to 6 p.m. on April 3 at the Henry Mayo Education Center, located on the hospital campus at 23803 McBean Parkway in Valencia. For more information or to sign up for an appointment, visit redcrossblood.org.