The Los Angeles American Red Cross Blood Services has issued an emergency appeal for blood, citing a particular need for Type O donors.
Red Cross has only 8% of the optimal inventory of O-positive blood and 11% of the desired amount of O-negative. Nearly half the population has O-positive blood, while O-negative blood is the "universal" donor blood relied on in emergencies, officials said.
Blood supplies traditionally run short in the summer because school and job site blood campaigns are less effective, said Julie Juliusson, communication manager for American Red Cross Blood Services.
"We go out to many workplaces, colleges and high schools," Juliusson said. "However, many schools are out of session during summer months, and at work many people are on vacation. That's why we have to appeal to the community to come to us."
San Fernando Valley residents can give blood at a central donation site, 14717 Sherman Way in Van Nuys. They can also visit various community sites throughout the area, including Burbank, Glendale, Granada Hills, Lancaster, Simi Valley, Tujunga, Valencia and Woodland Hills.
Donors can call (800) GIVE LIFE to arrange an appointment. Commuters are also encouraged to call the hotline to find a donation location near their work.
To give blood, one must be 17 or older, weigh at least 110 pounds, be in good health and not at risk for HIV/AIDS.