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Spectrum News 1: Hospitals See Severe Blood Shortage in Los Angeles, Across the Country

Spectrum News 1 reporter Taylor Torregano recently interviewed Armando Romero, associate director of Blood Donor Services at Cedars-Sinai, about the severe blood shortage at hospitals across the country this summer.

Torregano visited a Cedars-Sinai mobile blood donation van and rolled up her own sleeve to donate and show viewers how easy it is. During her report, Torregano said that blood supplies normally run low during the summer, but this year shortages are especially dire because the COVID-19 pandemic halted community blood drives at schools and other locations. Even as vaccination rates rise and COVID-19 cases have dropped, many people are taking their first vacation in over a year, severely diminishing turnout at blood drives.

As the state reopens and normal summertime activities resume, hospitals across the country are also seeing a high number of traumas and emergency room visits. At the same time, transplants and elective surgeries that were paused during the pandemic are now being scheduled, further boosting demand.

O-positive and O-negative blood, which can be given even when a patient's blood type is unknown, are especially in demand, but all types are urgently needed. "O-positive and O-negative, yes, definitely a critical need for those," Romero said, "but at this point, we're really desperate for every single blood type." He added that every person who donates blood saves at least three lives.

To locate a blood drive or schedule an appointment to donate blood, visit Blood Donor Services online.

Click here to view the complete story on Spectrum News 1.