As the holidays arrive this year, the main supplier of blood to Northern Nevada faces serious shortages and is asking donors for help.
United Blood Services spokeswoman Alana Ladd-Ross said supplies have remained low throughout the year, many times reaching critical levels.
"The whole world is always short at the same time," Ladd-Ross said.
Last week the service had to import blood to maintain service to the 30 hospitals it serves in northern Nevada.
Blood supplies have become scarce in the past few years mainly because of the stricter requirements during the collection process. To ensure safe blood supplies, services have heightened the screening process and less blood is accepted.
Also, while fewer people are donating the population in need of blood has increased, Ladd-Ross said.
Donated blood can be stored for 42 days but Ladd-Ross said the supplies are usually used before they expire.
"The blood coming in now will be gone as soon as we can get it tested and labeled," she said. "We're still in serious condition and we need people to continue to donate on a consistent basis."
The Carson City blood bank, 256 E. Winnie Lane, is open from 9 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. weekdays and from 8 a.m. to 11:45 p.m. Saturday. The bank is closed Sunday. Every other Tuesday, the bank remains open until 6:45.
United Blood Services: 887-9111