RED CROSS DESPERATE FOR BLOOD DEPLETED SUPPLY RISKS LIVES.Byline: Martin Kuz Staff Writer
Southland blood banks are as depleted de·plete
tr.v. de·plet·ed, de·plet·ing, de·pletes
To decrease the fullness of; use up or empty out.
[Latin d as the region's power reserves, and the American Red Cross American Red Cross: see Red Cross. is seeking donors to help avert a full-blown crisis.
``The bottom line is, people need to give blood because you never know who's going to need it,'' said Julie Juliusson, spokeswoman for the American Red Cross Southern California Southern California, also colloquially known as SoCal, is the southern portion of the U.S. state of California. Centered on the cities of Los Angeles and San Diego, Southern California is home to nearly 24 million people and is the nation's second most populated region, Region. ``It's the right thing to do. It's your one chance to be a hero.''
The shortage has restricted the Red Cross to providing blood to area hospitals only for emergency cases. Additional blood for elective surgeries elective surgery Surgery Any operation that can be performed with advanced planning–eg, cholecystectomy, hernia repair, colonic resection, coronary artery bypass is unavailable, Juliusson said.
The Red Cross has fallen short of area hospitals' demand for blood by a weekly average of 1,427 units during the past month. One unit is equal to about a pint.
The greatest need is for type O blood, both O-positive and O-negative. About 40 percent of the U.S. population has Type O blood, a figure that jumps to 70 percent among Latinos.
Los Angeles Los Angeles (lôs ăn`jələs, lŏs, ăn`jəlēz'), city (1990 pop. 3,485,398), seat of Los Angeles co., S Calif.; inc. 1850. ``really needs to have its residents step up and donate,'' Juliusson said.
Fewer than 3 percent of Southern Californians donate blood, compared to 5 percent nationwide, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. a Red Cross survey. The lack of donors has forced the organization to import more than 40 percent of the blood it provides to local hospitals.
The blood shortage has hit nationwide, with the arrival of summer depriving the Red Cross of one of its most reliable donor groups - high school and college students, who are now on break.
The Red Cross also sees donations dip because more workers are on vacation during the summer months, diminishing the number of potential donors during company-hosted blood drives.
Moreover, fears over mad cow disease mad cow disease: see prion.
mad cow disease
or bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE)
Fatal neurodegenerative disease of cattle. Symptoms include behavioral changes (e.g. entering the U.S. blood supply led a federal Food and Drug Administration advisory panel on Thursday to recommend tightening donor restrictions, even though doctors and federal officials told the committee that those restrictions could cost lives because of the already low blood inventory.
In California, the power crisis has caused further problems. Schools and churches, two of the most popular locations for blood drives, receive electricity at a discounted rate, making them among the first customers to have their power shut off during rolling blackouts.
That left schools and churches unsuitable for hosting blood drives this spring, officials said.
``Southern California is really in a bind this year,'' Juliusson said.
The Red Cross urges Los Angeles area residents to make an appointment to donate blood by calling (800) GIVE-LIFE. Spanish speakers can dial (888) POR-FAVOR.
Donors must be 17 or older, weigh at least 110 pounds, be in good health and not be at risk for HIV HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus), either of two closely related retroviruses that invade T-helper lymphocytes and are responsible for AIDS. There are two types of HIV: HIV-1 and HIV-2. HIV-1 is responsible for the vast majority of AIDS in the United States. or AIDS.