Bags of type ‘O’ positive and negative blood. Courtesy San Diego Blood Bank

The San Diego Blood Bank issued an urgent call Tuesday for donations of type “O” positive blood as supplies fell to the lowest level in a decade.

“All types are needed, but San Diego Blood Bank’s average monthly supply of O positive blood is the lowest it’s been in over a decade” said Claudine Van Gonka, director of community relations and marketing. 

“It is critical that we stabilize our blood supply so hospitals are not forced to alter treatment for some patients or cancel surgeries,” she said.

With the recent surge in COVID-19 cases, blood centers across the country are experiencing a dangerous decline in donations, and mobile blood drives normally hosted by schools and businesses continue to be cancelled.

“These collection challenges have disrupted the nation’s blood supply, resulting in concerningly low inventories of blood products for patients in need,” the blood bank said in a statement.

The San Diego Blood Bank currently has a 3-day or less supply of most blood types, compared to the normal 7– to 10-day supply.  

To be eligible to donate blood, you must be at least 17 years old, weigh at least 114 pounds, and be in general good health. Eligible blood donors are encouraged to schedule an appointment at SanDiegoBloodBank.org or by calling 619-400-8251.    

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.