Donated blood at the San Diego Blood Bank. Image from video

Sharp HealthCare was named Wednesday San Diego’s largest donor of blood products to the San Diego Blood Bank in 2020, collecting 1,290 pints at its facilities across the county from employees, their families and friends as part of its Sharp Lends a Hand community outreach program.

Sharp hospitals use approximately 24,000 units of blood products each year to care for their patients. The San Diego Blood Bank is the primary provider of blood products to Sharp hospitals across San Diego.

Last year, Sharp HealthCare announced its goal to collect 1,700 pints of blood in 2020. Sharp employees, their families and friends were encouraged to donate blood at mobile drives at Sharp locations or at any San Diego Blood Bank donor center or mobile drive.

“It has been a tough year for blood centers across the country, so Sharp HealthCare’s contributions were absolutely essential in keeping the blood supply safe for our community,” said David Wellis, CEO of the San Diego Blood Bank. “The need for blood continues as we head into the holiday season, so we hope others will donate and follow Sharp HealthCare’s lead.”

While the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the cancellation of 22 planned blood drives, Sharp was able to host 47 blood drives at various Sharp locations throughout San Diego. The result — though less than the pre-pandemic goal — was enough to name Sharp as San Diego’s largest donor of blood products to the San Diego Blood Bank in 2020.

“We are so proud of the people of Sharp for being on the frontlines to care for San Diegans during this pandemic, while also supporting the community through providing life-saving blood donations,” said Chris Howard, president and CEO of Sharp HealthCare. “We are grateful for our continued partnership with the San Diego Blood Bank and honored to be their top supporter this year.”

Sharp HealthCare’s goal for 2021 will be 1,500 units of blood.

To be eligible to donate blood, a donor must be at least 17 years old, weigh at least 114 pounds and be in general good health. To make an appointment, visit www.sandiegobloodbank.org/donate or call 619-400-8251.

–City News Service

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