The blood bank that exclusively serves all greater Palm Springs area hospitals urges residents to donate blood Wednesday as Memorial Day, which is expected to generate an influx of travelers, fast approaches.
“If we can’t collect more blood, and do so immediately, patient well- being is at risk,” Dr. Rick Axelrod from LifeStream Blood Bank said regarding the travel-intensive Memorial Day weekend ahead. “Historically — and this is unfortunate — we’re forced to purchase and import blood from other areas due to not enough blood donors here to satisfy local need… Those avenues aren’t always available, which is the case now. More important, we have the population here to support local needs.”
At current levels, hospitals only have enough blood saved for one day available, according to Lifestream spokesman Don Escalante.
In the next week, eight blood drives sponsored by the blood bank will be held throughout the Coachella Valley, including one Wednesday morning at the Desert Water Agency at 1200 Gene Autry Trail in Palm Springs, Escalante said.
Beginning at 9 a.m., the five-hour drive offers $5 gift cards to In-N- Out, as well as a chance to win a pair of tickets to TheFitExpo in Anaheim for those who say “Fit Expo” during registration.
Donors must be at least 15 years of age, with donors under 18 required to provide written parental consent. Parent consent forms will be available at the drive or at http://www.LStream.org.
Prospective donors must be free of infections or illness, weigh at least 110 pounds and not be at risk for AIDS or hepatitis.
Donations can also be made from 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily at LifeStream La Quinta, 79-215 Corporate Center Drive, except on Wednesdays, when the hours are 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Lifestream serves more than 80 Southern California hospitals in six counties, according to Escalante.