Health

Blood drive held by City of Santa Maria

City teams up with United Blood Services for event

Blood drive held by City of Santa Maria

SANTA MARIA, Calif. - The City of Santa Maria teamed up with United Blood Services Tuesday afternoon to hold a much-needed blood drive.

The four-hour event started at noon inside the United Blood Services' bloodmobile that was parked next to the Paul Nelson Aquatic Center.

During the drive, city employees, along with members of the public, answered the call to take part in the drive.

In the aftermath of several recent high-profile incidents, blood donations are especially needed throughout the United States.

"I donate blood because I feel like it's my civic duty," said donor James Oswald. "I think it's very important to donate during times like this, considering what happened in Las Vegas and in Puerto Rico and just all over the place. It seems like there are tragedies happening daily, so donating blood is very important."

Nationally, blood centers such as United Blood Services, are seeing an increase in blood donations.

"I donate regularly," said Oswald. "I've probably donated 20 to 30 times. I'm healthy and it's an easy thing to do."

Each day, United Blood Services welcomes donations of all types, but especially Type O-negative. O-negative blood is the "universal blood" that can be used by anyone during an emergency.

United Blood Services is also currently looking for donations of Type AB (positive or negative). Type AB plasma can be given to all patients when needed.

According to a release, about one in seven people entering a hospital need blood. In addition, more than 95 percent of Americans will have a relative or friend that will need blood and more than 75 percent of Americans reaching age 72 will need a blood transfusion at some point in their lifetime.

Those statistics make blood donation drives, such as the one held in Santa Maria on Tuesday, so important.

Anyone interested in donating can make an appointment with United Blood Services. The center operates local offices in Santa Maria, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura.

For more information, visit www.unitedbloodservices.org


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