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SIMI VALLEY : Blood Agency Opens a New Donor Center

United Blood Services is looking for new blood.

Hoping to increase blood donations, the nonprofit agency, which is Ventura County’s sole blood provider, opened a new donor center in Simi Valley on Wednesday.

The agency closed its old Simi Valley center after it was damaged in the Jan. 17 earthquake, said Lauren Mourmouris , a spokeswoman for the agency. United Blood Services also has centers in Ventura and Thousand Oaks. A roving bloodmobile serves the rest of the county.

The new Simi Valley center is situated at the corner of Cochran Street and Sycamore Drive in the Alpha Beta shopping center.

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To qualify as a blood donor, you must be in good health, weigh at least 110 pounds and be between the ages of 17 and 80.

You will be disqualified from donating blood if you have any type of infection, a new tattoo, a heart condition or have ever tested positive for hepatitis.

In many cases, being on medication will not disqualify you from giving blood, Mourmouris said.

“People shouldn’t automatically assume that they can’t give just because they are taking some kind of medication,” she said. “It really depends on what you’re taking it for.”

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Its takes the body about 24 hours to replace the pint of blood drawn during the donation process, and up to six weeks for the body to restore its red blood cell supply, Mourmouris said. A person can donate blood every eight weeks.

People with O positive blood, the most common blood type, are especially encouraged to donate, Mourmouris said.

For more information or to schedule an appointment at any United Blood Services center, call 654-8104.


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