Red Cross Quarantines Three-Day Supply of Blood for Southern California
The American Red Cross has quarantined about a three-day supply of blood for the Southern California region after two new refrigerators at its Irvine facility malfunctioned, Red Cross officials announced yesterday, the Los Angeles Times reports. For six hours on Friday morning, the refrigerators stored blood several degrees below the recommended range, Julie Juliusson, a Red Cross spokesperson for the region, said (Ornstein, Los Angeles Times, 9/16). In all, 3,533 units have been quarantined for testing, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports (Clark, San Diego Union-Tribune, 9/16). A Red Cross national review board is expected to determine what will be done with the blood today. The Red Cross supplies at least 50% of the blood used in the Southern California region (Los Angeles Times, 9/16). Red Cross officials informed area hospitals that blood would only be available for emergencies until supplies increase and indicated that hospitals might need to delay elective surgeries (AP/Bakersfield Californian, 9/14). However, representatives from several dozen Southern California hospitals said that their in-house blood supplies would allow hospital services to continue uninterrupted, according to the Times. Juliusson said that the refrigeration problem did not affect the plasma or platelets from the 3,533 units of blood because those are stored separately (Los Angeles Times, 9/16). Red Cross officials said that the area is still facing a "critically urgent" shortage of blood and is asking other Red Cross centers nationwide to send blood from their banks to Southern California (AP/Bakersfield Californian, 9/14).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.