Health Alert From Houchin Community Blood Bank

Houchin Community Blood Bank is almost out of O- and O+ blood and with a three day weekend looming it is urgent that supplies increase before then. “Local usage of these blood types has been high and I am very concerned,” said Patrick Clary, Director of Inventory. “Normally if we get low on a blood type we can reach out to other blood banks for help, but no one has any extra to spare. It’s up to the people of Kern County to answer this call.” Community members are urged to come into the blood bank right away, particularly known O – and O+ donors. Houchin will be open today until 6 pm, Thursday 9 am – 8 pm, Friday 9 am – 6 pm and Saturday 9 am – 3 pm. Houchin is closed on Sunday July 3 and the Fourth of July holiday.


Del Taco Thursday

Taco Tuesdays are a big hit all over town, so why not Taco Thursday at Houchin Community Blood Bank? This is an opportunity for the community to come in, give blood, and enjoy three tasty Del Taco tacos or burritos in the canteen. Appointments are recommended to ensure we have plenty of food, but walk-ins are welcome.

Thursday June 30th, 5 pm – 8 pm at Houchin Community Blood Bank


Special Mobile Drive to Help Meet Urgent Blood Needs

As the summer heats up, the blood supplies have dwindled everywhere, including here in Kern County. To help address this urgent need, a special community blood drive reaching out to the east side of Bakersfield will be held Saturday, June 25, from 8 am to 3 pm at the East Bakersfield Veteran’s Hall, 2101 Ridge Road, at the corner of Mount Vernon Avenue.

Donors on the mobile will be treated to icy La Rosa bars, and can also enjoy the adjacent Summer Craft Affair organized by the Kern County Probation Department to raise funds for Relay for Life 2012. The craft fair will run from 10 am to 6 pm, and blood donors will also receive a card good for $5.00 worth of craft fair raffle tickets.

Blood Urgently Needed for Military and Local Use

Summer means vacations, hot weather, and inadequate blood supplies nationwide. Even the Department of Defense has put out a national call for AB plasma. Our local blood bank is feeling the heat as well, as shelves of blood products get thinner and thinner. “Blood banks nationwide try to help each other when local supplies are low or disasters strike” says Patrick Clary, Director of Inventory at Houchin Community Blood Bank. “I am getting urgent calls from all over seeking help and we just don’t have the supply to spare. I particularly hate telling folks seeking units for newborns that we can’t help them, but our first priority is to serve our local hospitals. We are planning to help the military with their blood needs next month, providing our donors can make time to donate with us soon”. Houchin Community Blood Bank is in particular need of platelets of all types, as well as type O-, O+ and A- blood.

“I particularly hate telling folks seeking units for newborns that we can’t help them, but our first priority is to serve our local hospitals.”

New donors are particularly welcome this time of year because regular donors are on vacation, including the high school students who provide 38% of our local blood supply. Donating is easy with Houchin’s friendly staff. Walk-ins are always welcome, and appointments can be made by calling 661-323-4222 or on the web at Special events are planned at the blood bank all summer long to attract new donors and show how much all donors who make it possible for us to serve patients in need are appreciated. The public is urged to think of a trip to the blood bank as a 45 minute break from routine: a mini vacation which could save up to three lives. Cool air conditioning, luxurious recliners, and icy La Rosa bars are free to all donors this summer at the blood bank.

Saving Lives is Always in Style

Houchin Community Blood Bank Participates in National “give” Campaign

In celebration of World Blood Donor Day on Tuesday, June 14, 2011, Houchin Community Blood Bank has developed a local Saving Lives is Always in Style Campaign to tie in with a national marketing campaign organized by the American Blood Centers and Nexcare™, the bandage company. The purpose of the campaign is to draw attention to the need for additional blood donors to meet local and world needs. Houchin is partnering with twelve Bakersfield boutiques to help get out the message that blood donation is fashionable, and more people should start giving today. Kicking off on World Blood Donor Day, through Saturday, June 18th, blood donors at 5901 Truxtun Avenue will receive limited edition “give” bandages with fashion forward graphics provided by Nexcare™, and will also be entered to win gift certificates from the participating boutiques. On Wednesday, June 15, the first 80 donors will also receive a coupon for a free cupcake from Sweet Surrender. Participating boutiques are: Miss Holiday, Kaur, La Coquette, Fashionista, Sweet Surrender, Tangerine, Pappagallo, Fashion & Fame, Bella at the Marketplace, Jezabelle’s, Christine’s, and LoLo’s.

World Blood Donor Day comes at an important time in the calendar year. During the summer months, the nation’s blood supply comes under strain due to fewer donations related to vacation schedules and other seasonal distractions. Schools are also out for the summer and high school students provide 38% of our local blood supply. Even the Department of Defense is scouring the nation for AB plasma to serve our troops overseas. In Kern County we need A-, O+, B-, and O- blood, as well as platelets from all blood types.

“It is interesting to me,” notes Carola Enriquez, Director of Community Development, “that World Blood Donor Day falls on our own Flag Day. It is a great time to stop and consider how lucky we are to live in a nation where we can rely on a safe and ready blood supply from volunteer donors. So many other nations are not so fortunate. We hope this campaign will encourage new donors to join this crucial effort this week when many blood products are in short supply.”

Houchin Community Blood Bank is open Monday through Friday from 9 am to 6 pm, with extended hours until 8 pm on Thursdays. Saturday hours are 9 am to 3 pm. Walk-ins are always welcome, but appointments or further information can be obtained by calling Peggy Smith at 661-323-4222, or by logging onto

World Blood Donation Facts

  • More than 93 million units of blood donations are collected globally every year.
  • It takes 1% of a nation’s people to donate blood to meet the most basic needs.
  • There are 62 nations which can meet their need for blood, and 77 countries which cannot, resulting in unnecessary loss of life.
  • Pregnant women and severely anemic children routinely die for lack of blood in some countries.
  • There are about 8,000 blood banks in the world today.
  • The most developed countries collect 65% of the blood for only 25% of the population
  • In nations where there are limited supplies of blood, organ transplants and similar lifesaving operations are not possible because of the amount of blood products they require

More Blood, More Life

More Blood, More Life is the 2011 theme for World Blood Donor Day on June 14, 2011. This theme reinforces the urgent need for more people all over the world to become life-savers by volunteering to donate blood regularly.

World Blood Donor Day has been celebrated since 2004, and is organized by the World Health Organization. Countries around the globe will celebrate with events to raise awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products, and to thank voluntary unpaid blood donors for their life-saving gifts of blood. More information is available from the WHO website at