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Houchin Community Blood Bank puts out the call for platelets


Roll up your sleeve and visit a Houchin Community Blood Bank site, like this one at 11515 Bolthouse Drive.

The blood needs of the Las Vegas area have been met by generous donors there and nationwide — and only certain types of blood are needed locally — but platelets are still in high demand, officials at the Houchin Community Blood Bank in Bakersfield said Tuesday.

The only blood needed in Bakersfield are O+ and O-types, Houchin said. Platelets are needed everywhere, and they can come from donors of any blood type who have good veins and a sufficient platelet count, Houchin said.

On Monday Houchin had a "huge" turnout of  242 donors at its centers on Bolthouse Drive and Truxtun Avenue, an all-time record for Bolthouse, which saw 190 donations, Houchin said.

It also had a mobile drive at Bakersfield High School that generated 61 pints of whole blood from 86 donors.

Due to the overwhelming response, Houchin is now asking people to space out their blood donations over the next two to three weeks to "even out" the local and national supply. It said whole blood donors should ask to be checked for their suitability to be a platelet donor at their next donation date.

"Red blood cells only last 42 days, so too many contributed on one day will just create an excess that probably cannot be utilized in time," Houchin said.

The blood bank said only O+ and O- blood is needed today in quantity. AB donors are needed for platelet and plasma donations only as hospitals do not stock AB red cells, it said.

For more information, call 323-4222. Appointments can be made at 616-2505 or at



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