SAN DIEGO -- The San Diego Blood Bank announced Thursday that it's being impacted by a nationwide shortage of platelets, and appealed to the public for donations.
Platelets help control bleeding, but their five-day shelf life makes regular donations imperative, blood bank officials said.
"We're asking our community to help replenish our platelet supply and continue to keep it at a safe level," San Diego Blood Bank CEO David Wellis said. "There is no substitute for platelets -- donations are critically needed."
The low inventory is a result of a combination of factors, including increased demand from local hospitals for use in traumas, heart surgeries and stem cell transplants, and new regulations that limit donor eligibility, blood bank officials said.
Patients undergoing bone marrow transplants, surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation treatments or organ transplants often need platelets to survive. Donors with blood type A+ or B+ or AB are the best candidates for platelet donation, according to the blood bank.