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Children's Hospital L.A. Calls For Blood Donations As County Supply Dips

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The Children's Hospital Los Angeles is in need of blood.

As Charif El Masri, transfusion medicine manager at CHLA, told LAist, every summer blood reserves around the L.A. county dip, as many potential donors are out of school and away on vacation.

"All big blood centers are [currently] low," El Masri continued. "Our inventory is OK, we just don't want it to dip too low. That's why we're asking people to take time off and stop by the CHLA to donate blood." Healthy adults over 17-years-old and 110 pounds are asked to donate. Their medical and travel history will be screened before donation.

"We're looking for all blood types," Jessie Singer, lead at CHLA's blood donation center, told LAist. "And some local county hospitals recently shut down, so it makes it harder" to secure blood for the rest of the hospitals around L.A., Singer continued.

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In addition, this time of year sees a higher demand for blood at the hospital as children have time for elective surgeries, and as the season's associated injuries increase. What also complicates matters is that, though blood can be stored for nearly a month, it does degrade. "The shelf life for platelets [cells in the blood that stop bleeding] is five days," Singer explained. "For blood, it's 32 days."

"The red cells in the blood don't work as well when they're refrigerated with all the additives," El Masri added. What's more, this weakening of the blood's properties can cause issues for younger, less developed bodies. "Babies need fresh blood," El Masri emphasized.

To schedule a blood donation appointment with the Children's Hospital Los Angeles, call (323) 361-2441. Blood donation sessions typically last one hour.

The Children's Hospital Los Angeles blood donation center is located at 4650 Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles.