The Central California Blood Center is asking all blood donors, to please give blood as soon as possible in an effort to replenish the Central Valley's blood supply that has dropped drastically in recent weeks.
"Due to recent rain and fog, increased emergency room usage, as well as overall usage, has caused a critical strain on our blood supply," said Dean Eller, president and CEO of the Central California Blood Center. "We are asking new and returning donors to take their time and help save someone's life."
All blood types are needed -- especially 'O'Negative donors because our current supply is at less than 10%."
Aside from helping patients in Valley hospitals, all donors at Fresno blood centers (4343 W. Herndon and 1196 E. Shaw) will receive a 2013 Central California Blood Center Calendar.
Blood donation takes less than one hour to complete. Donors must be in good general health, weigh a minimum of 110 pounds and be at least 17 years old (16 years old with written parental consent).
Senior citizens are encouraged to donate, as there is no upper age limit. Donors should eat a good meal and drink plenty of water within four hours prior to their donation.
According to Eller, donors can give blood every eight weeks. Photo ID and Social Security number are required at donor registration.
The Central California Blood Center is the sole provider of blood and blood products for the 31 hospitals in Fresno, Tulare, Madera, Kings and Mariposa Counties and must collect between 5,000 to 6,000 pints of blood a month to meet the needs of Valley communities.