First-Time Donations Help End Ventura County’s Blood Shortage
In the weeks following the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, 4,300 Ventura County residents either donated or "pledged a pint" of blood for the first time, ending the county's two-year blood shortage, the Los Angeles Times reports. On Sept. 11, "hundreds lined up for hours" at United Blood Services' offices in Ventura, Camarillo and Thousand Oaks, the area's only blood banks, but due to the blood donations' short shelf-life -- 42 days -- the organization accepted "just" 180 pints, none of which were sent to New York. The remaining donors filled out some 6,500 pledge cards "promis[ing] to give blood in the future." Because of the large number of donors, the United Blood Services staff has abandoned its "aggressive soliciting" of donors and instead has spent the "last few days" calling pledges and scheduling appointments that have filled "the agency's calendar through the end of the month." Each office can accommodate nine donors at a time, and appointments can be scheduled seven days a week. Ventura County "relies solely" on UBS to supply the area's seven hospitals with 30,000 units annually or about 600 pints per week (Wolcott, Los Angeles Times, 10/11).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.