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Monday, January 24, 2022

Harbor-UCLA Trauma Center temporarily closed amid unprecedented blood loss; more shutdowns possible

Harbor-UCLA Medical Center’s trauma center in unincorporated West Carson closed briefly earlier this week because the hospital didn’t have enough blood supplies to meet demand.

The LA County Department of Health Services, which oversees the Harbor-UCLA campus near Torrance, confirmed that the trauma center remained closed for at least two hours Monday night. DHS representatives also said the hospital was only able to reopen when staff “went above and beyond to request immediate blood supplies to every vendor and other local hospitals.”

LAC + USC Medical Center was one of the hospitals that stepped in to assist Harbor-UCLA.

“Closing trauma centers to patients because of blood loss hasn’t happened in LA County in more than 30 years,” said Marianne Goush-Hill, a medical director for LA County’s Emergency Health Services Agency. “I cannot stress enough how urgent and important this blood loss is for LA County residents. Trauma centers play a vital role in providing emergency life-saving medical care to all.”

Dr. Christina Ghali of the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services Photo: Facebook video screenshot

County DHS director Christina Ghaly said in a statement that the current shortage of health care staff associated with the ongoing COVID surge, combined with the national blood shortage, began to significantly impact hospitals across the county. Is.

Earlier this week, the American Red Cross warned of dangerously low blood supplies across the country and in the Los Angeles area — and by automatically entering donors into a raffle for Super Bowl tickets and other prizes donated. hoped to inspire.

“We are facing a situation that has the potential to impact our hospital’s ability to care for the public in far more serious ways than what we saw during last winter’s boom,” Ghaly said. “Closing a trauma center in the midst of a COVID-19 surge – when hospitals and ambulance providers are already struggling and when emergency departments are already strained – can result in patients needing immediate life-saving medical attention at risk. There may be a delay.”

Meanwhile, the Red Cross is also facing a shortage of staff as it looks to meet a “critical” need for blood, with the organization organizing a job fair in Arcadia on Wednesday to conduct blood drives. I was looking to fill a spot on my mobile phlebotomist team to help. Area.

The organization said the COVID-19 pandemic is leading to an overall drop in the number of people donating blood by 10%, as well as blood drive cancellations and staffing constraints. The organization said the pandemic has contributed to a 62% drop in blood drives in schools and colleges.

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Harbor-UCLA Trauma Center temporarily closed amid unprecedented blood loss; more shutdowns possible
Dr. John Kunesh, pathologist, CLIA director of the clinical laboratory and medical director of the Blood Bank and Donor Center at Torrance Memorial Medical Center. (Photo courtesy TMMC)

Dr. John Kunesh, a pathologist at Torrance Memorial Medical Center, said COVID has disrupted people’s lives – and their blood donation routines.

“I think it has actually made it worse,” Kunesh said, noting that most blood donation centers experience shortages in the winter and summer months. “I think COVID has taken the lives of so many people. – people are now working from home, they are not out, they are not thinking of donating.”

Kunesh said that Torrance Memorial, which has its own in-house blood donation centre, has been able to manage during times of severe blood shortage.

“It has really saved us at a time when there has been a serious shortage,” Kunesh said. “If we run low, we can call our donors and they fill up our shelves very quickly.”

But for the Red Cross, and other hospitals and medical centers that depend on its blood banks – the situation is dire.

“Our inventory is at crisis levels,” said American Red Cross’ Los Angeles area spokeswoman Rahima Shoaib Yazdani. “Right now, doctors are being forced to decide which patients receive a blood transfusion and who should wait.”

The Red Cross said blood and platelet donations are critically needed to help prevent further delays in medical treatment, and urged blood donors of all types – but especially type O – to make appointments. .

World Nation News Deskhttps://www.worldnationnews.com
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