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Eureka blood center always in need of donations

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EUREKA, Calif. - The director of donor recruitment at the Northern California Community Blood Bank in Eureka said they are always accepting donations.

The director, John Gullam, said there's no replacement for human blood. And the deadly mass shooting in Las Vegas Sunday showed that tragedy strikes without notice.

"Know that we need to have an inventory of blood products all of the time waiting for an event such as what happened in Las Vegas recently," said Gullam. "The blood that saved lives there was the blood that was donated two days, two weeks before."

Gallum said there was a task force meeting first thing Monday morning to check on the need for blood products in Las Vegas.

"We found that they had enough blood product on their shelves to meet their immediate needs, had they not, we would have been able to send blood products," said Gallum.

Gallum said that was a perfect example of having enough blood supply in case of an emergency. "As long as there are people there's going to be a need for blood."

He said people can donate blood every 56 days, but that's not the only blood product they need. Plasma can be donated once a month, and platelets once a week.

"Plasma could be frozen up to a year, red cells last about 50 days and platelets actually last five days, so we're constantly needing to replenish the platelet inventory," he said.

Heather Hulbert was on her day off donating platelets. She said she does it often.

"It's really not that big of deal to donate blood or platelets, you sit here for a little bit and you hang out, you can cruise the internet or read your book and catch up on things," said Hulbert. "You do what you can be doing at home like watching Netflix and you're helping people."

And with a "bloodmobile" out in the community daily, and the blood center open six days a week, donating blood does not have to be chore.

"Folks who donate once a year that's great, if folks would donate one more time a year, we would be in good shape," Gallum added.

The Northern California Community Blood Bank website has updates on blood types they may need and it shows where the bloodmobile will be stationed.

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