Countywide : Blood Supplies Hit Critically Low Level

Cancellations of blood drives have caused a critical shortage of blood in Ventura County, officials said.

United Blood Services, the only supplier of blood for the county, collected 100 fewer units of blood than had been scheduled this week, said Carolyn Tyner, director of community relations. County hospitals use about 650 units of blood each week, she said.

A number of businesses that had agreed to sponsor blood drives in August canceled because too many employees were on vacation or the planning for the drives just didn’t get done, Tyner said.

“We are experiencing a real shortage of O-positive and O-negative units, and are just holding our own on most other blood types,” Tyner said. “The only blood type of which we have an adequate supply is A-positive.”

United Blood Services recently raised the maximum age of blood donors to 80. Those interested in donating blood may call 654-1600 for more information.