SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. - The 6th Annual Day of Service Blood Drive took place on Monday at Vitalant blood centers in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties.
From noon to 7 p.m, News Channel, along with Vitalant, co-hosted the event that helped restock low local blood supply levels.
"The levels right now are about two days of supplies on the shelf here, and it's not a comfortable level for us," said Beau Mercurio, Vitalant Account Executive. "We like to maintain a four day supply of blood. Blood is perishable. It has an expiration date and there's no other way to get blood. There's no substitute for for donating blood, so the blood given is being shipped to our local hospitals quicker than the donations are coming in."
The drive at three Vitalant blood centers in Santa Barbara, Santa Maria and San Luis Obispo coincided with a challenging time when blood donations annually run short.
"This is the most difficult month, typically January, right after the holidays to get people in here to donate," said Mercurio. "Obviously, a lot going on with the holidays and starting the new year, so this is really important that we kick it off the right way, and start getting those blood donors in here on a regular basis."
The 6th annual NewsChannel 3-11-12 MLK Day of Service Blood Drive surpassed its goal thanks to more than 130 people who donated blood and platelets on Monday.
For more information about donating, click here.