Bleed and lead: donate blood

By Emerald Collins |Staff Writer|

LifeStream urges people to donate blood to continue to accommodate patients in need of blood. The organization strives to supply blood to local patients within the Riverside, Los Angeles and San Bernardino County area, including Loma Linda’s Children Hospital cancer patients.

The local blood bank of San Bernardino and Riverside county focuses on helping people locally, but “only a range of three to five percent of eligible donators are only donating for those patients in need,” said Don Escalante, Lifestream’s public relations specialist, “There is at least 40 percent of local citizens who are eligible to donate.”

Their mission statement reads “we help save lives by connecting donors and patients through the gift of blood.” Lifestream has been striving to accomplish this mission since it became established in 1951.

The organization was initially established by the Medical Society as Blood Bank of San Bernardino and Riverside Counties, BBSBRC. Lifestream strives to help those in need and conserve it to prepare for possible crises in the future.

The non-profit organization serves many patients from automobile accident patients to those undergoing open heart surgeries. Escalante emphasizes that the danger myths of donating are carefully avoided and assures that donating is completely safe.

“Whole blood donation can be donated every eight weeks and takes an hour in total, most people do this. Apheresis isolates one component of the blood and returns the rest to the donor; these services include plasma, bone marrow and platelets and can be donated as frequently as 24 times a year,” said Escalante.

“There is an ongoing need for it and unfortunately these demands aren’t seasonal and must be available at all times,” said Escalante. The high demand in these local counties requires a call of action for more people to step up to the plate.

“Lifestream’s general mission is for people to strictly help their fellow man and perform great selfless acts by donating; it’s like a free gift and I hope more people find it in their hearts to donate,” said Escalante. “Since we are the primary source in the area, we can assure you when you donate, your donation stays here and serves people in the area, Lifestream is a staff of great people with a great mission.”

The organization is actively recruiting volunteers and recommends that if you are not able to donate for any reason then volunteer at one of their local centers or with the main office in San Bernardino.

If you are interested in making a donation or becoming a volunteer please contact and schedule your appointment at the main office at 384 W. Orange Show Rd., San Bernardino, (909)885-6503 or an office in your area. You can also visit the website at LStream.org.
Give the gift of blood.

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