The Original Farmers Market, corner of Third and Fairfax, is hosting a blood drive with Cedars-Sinai Medical Center from Thursday, Jan. 13, through Saturday, Jan. 15, in observance of National Blood Donor Month.
From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the Cedars-Sinai Bloodmobile will be parked at the Farmers Market, across from Cost Plus World Market. Donors are encouraged to make an appointment by visiting donatebloodcedars.org. Walk-ups are also welcome.
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center is facing a critical blood shortage and is encouraging donors to give blood as soon as possible. Dr. Ellen Klapper, director of transfusion medicine and blood donor services for the hospital, and Armando Romero, associate director of Transfusion Medicine, said supplies of blood products have been consistently low during the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We normally like to have a few days’ inventory of blood on hand, but we haven’t had the luxury of that in a long time,” Klapper said.
Many schools, places of worship and other organizations that held regular blood drives before the pandemic have reduced or eliminated in-person activities, including blood drives. The two-year blood shortage is in addition to an annual decrease in donations that typically occurs during the winter.
“That all has combined to create a really tough situation for us here at the hospital,” Romero said.
Donors must be 17 or older, although teens who are 16 years old may donate blood with parental consent. Candidates must weigh at least 110 pounds and be in good general health. The minimum required weight for 16-year-old donors is 135 pounds.
People who have recently received a COVID-19 vaccine must wait three days before donating blood. A current photo ID is required. All donors will receive a gift.
The Original Farmers Market is located at 6333 W. Third St. For information and appointments, visit donatebloodcedars.org and use the group donor name: Farmers Market.