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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Hospitals in shortage of blood, blood banks scrambling inland empire

Dr. Mike Messiska hadn’t donated blood since high school when he donated on Wednesday.

The following Saturday, Messiska, medical director and chair of the department of emergency medicine at Riverside University Health System Medical Center in Moreno Valley, received a text from inland blood bank Lifestream informing her that her blood was saving a patient’s life at her hospital.

“I was out of football coaching at the time,” Messiska told Riverside County supervisors on Tuesday, January 25. “What a wonderful thing to know that your blood was able to help someone.”

It is a scene that has been repeatedly called the worst national blood shortage in a decade, which Messisca hopes to end. The shortage, which has worsened as the coronavirus pandemic leads to canceled blood drives and donor appointments, with hospitals scrambling inland Empire and urging the public to donate so patients don’t die.

On January 11, the American Red Cross announced its first blood crisis, warning that hospitals would limit blood delivery in recent weeks because some hospitals were not receiving one-quarter of their requested blood products.

Public relations specialist Dina Colunga said Lifestream only had a day’s supply of blood as of Friday, January 28.

“Less than two days are classified as critical,” Colunga said via email.

World Nation News Desk
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