Children’s Hospital Los Angeles Faces Blood Shortage, Asks for Donations

Children's Hospital Los Angeles is facing a blood shortage and is asking for help with donations of all blood types and platelets, hospital officials announced Wednesday.

A donate blood sign at Children's Hospital Los Angeles is shown in this undated photo. (Credit: KTLA)

Though blood donations typically decrease during the summer months and the holidays, this year the blood inventory has reached "critical levels."

Dr. Charif Elmasri said that those times are typically when people travel, go on vacations and are busy with family.

"These little kids, these patients are our responsibility, so we want to make sure we keep a fresh supply of blood constantly from our donor base,” Elmasri said.

In a news release, Dr. Ajay Perumbeti, director of transfusion medicine for the hospital, said that donations are needed year round to help care for patients.

The hospital hopes to attract 65 donors each day this month in order to replenish its supply.

Stephen Mirkin is known as a “superstar donor” because he gives two units of platelets every two weeks. He was at the hospital Wednesday to donate again.

“I know that the platelets that were taken today are going to be in the arm of a child in 48 hours,” Mirkin said.

Hospital officials are encouraging residents to donate, as well as tell friends, family and coworkers to donate.

Those interested in donating blood need to be 17 or older and weigh at least 110 pounds. They must also meet the criteria for recent travelers.

To schedule an appointment, call 323-361-2441 or online.