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San Diego Blood Bank joins National Partnership to Send Blood Where Needed

Study looks into possibility of paying people to donate blood
Posted at 4:15 PM, Aug 02, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-02 19:15:51-04

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The San Diego Blood Bank has joined the Blood Emergency Readiness Corps, a partnership with other community-based blood centers across the nation to help prepare for emergencies that may lead to a high demand for transfusions, it was announced Wednesday.

Created in September 2021, BERC is a cooperative of 36 blood centers in more than 40 states that have committed to collecting extra blood units on a rotating, "on call" schedule. The extra units are held in reserve for critical need, such as a mass shooting, natural disaster or any other large crisis.

"As we work to protect our region's blood supply, we now have a safety net in the event of a mass trauma incident," Doug Morton, San Diego Blood Bank CEO, said in a statement. "We are also better prepared to serve the public -- nationally if need be -- to assist in the event of a mass trauma outside of our area."

As part of the program, SDBB will work on an on-call schedule every three weeks to assist with any blood donations needs across the country. When an emergency hits, blood is released to the local blood center in need immediately. If the blood units are not used for an emergency, they are returned to the blood center that collected them to be used for general needs, according to a blood bank statement.

With current donation rates nationally, most blood centers "don't have enough blood on their shelves to handle these types of disasters and are forced to request blood units from neighboring blood collectors," the statement reads.

"The County of San Diego supports all programs that help create a sustainable and diverse blood supply for the region," said Dr. Eric McDonald, interim director of the county Health and Human Services Agency. "We applaud the San Diego Blood Bank in these efforts to continue to serve the communities of San Diego."

Since its formation in September of 2021, BERC has already responded to three mass casualty events in Tennessee, Kentucky, and Michigan.

To be eligible to donate blood, you must be at least 17 years old, weigh at least 114 pounds, and be in general good health. Eligible blood donors are encouraged to schedule an appointment at or calling 619-400-8251. Walk-ins are welcome.

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