Blood Drive is Main Way to Supply Demand
May 16, 2005 12:50 PM
There are 38,000 pints of blood needed everyday in the United States. San Francisco hospitals need 500 pints a day to meet the demand, but a shortage of blood in California forces blood centers to import blood from other states.
Blood Centers of the Pacific is a non-profit organization in San Francisco that provides the link between people who donate blood and the patients who need it. Blood drives at local universities, like SF State, are one of the main ways the blood center tries to meet the needs of the 41 Bay Area hospitals it supplies.
Less than four percent of the population donates blood nationwide. A healthy person can donate blood every eight weeks. Once the blood is donated it is tested for Hepatitis B and C, HIV, Syphilis, and the West Nile Virus.
Once the blood is cleared it is sent to Bay Area hospitals within 72 hours. Blood is separated into different components like red cells, platelets, and plasma. A donor could potentially help three different people.
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