Blood shortages forced the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services to shut down one of its trauma centers to new patients for hours earlier this week — a step it had not taken in over three decades, officials at the county department said Wednesday.
The trauma center at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center closed to new patients for more than two hours on Monday, according to a department spokesperson. It had to reach out to other hospitals in the DHS system for blood in order to reopen.
Dr. Marianne Gausche-Hill, medical director of the Los Angeles County EMS Agency, said L.A. County had not had to close a trauma center to patients because of inadequate blood supplies in more than 30 years.
“I can’t emphasize enough just how urgent and critical this blood shortage is for L.A. County residents,” Gausche-Hill said.
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