Staff Report

After 12 successful blood drives and enough blood donated to save 1,485 lives, Dignity Health Central Coast hospitals have again partnered with Vitalant to encourage community members to donate blood. 

To bolster local and national blood supplies, Vitalant is calling on the community to come forward and give blood. The process takes only 45 minutes but can save up to three lives.

The drive is scheduled for each hospital on the following dates:

Arroyo Grande Community Hospital: Tuesday, Aug. 24, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Annex Conference Room, 345 South Halcyon Road, Arroyo Grande

Marian Regional Medical Center: Friday, Aug. 27, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Conference Center at the corner of Palisade Drive and Church Street on the Marian campus, 1400 East Church St., Santa Maria 

There is currently a critical shortage of blood, and all community members are asked to take the short amount of time to donate. Community members wishing to donate are urged to sign up at Do not donate if you are feeling ill. 

In the wake of COVID-19 responses, Vitalant is urging groups to continue organizing blood drives and individuals to continue donating blood, unless local public health officials specifically direct otherwise. Blood drives at schools, churches, community groups, and religious institutions — which represent more than 60% of the nation’s blood supply — have been all but cancelled, and are critical to health care in our country.

Despite the ongoing need, it is now especially challenging to recruit donors, which affects Vitalant’s blood supply. Donations from O-negative donors, the universal blood type, are especially important. The current O-negative blood supply sits at an approximate two-day supply, which is half of the ideal quantity needed to support patient needs. Additionally, platelet donations, which have a shelf-life of only five days, are always in high demand. However, donors of all types are needed.