Blood Inventory 101


We collect blood to manufacture plasma, platelets and red blood cells for patient transfusion

We manufacture three products from blood provided by volunteer donors: red cells, plasma and platelets. Each unit has a limited shelf life.  The shelf life of platelets is only 5 days, red cells last 42 days, and plasma one year.  Our goal is to collect 25 to 30 platelets a day and maintain a 10 day supply of red cells of all types.  We double-check product inventories on hand at hospitals every day. We decide how many units of each product are needed daily to maintain the supply based on past usage, and the information is used to contact donors to replenish our supplies of each life saving product.

bloodtypesThe ongoing inventory check is crucial not only to make sure we have what patients need on hand, but also to avoid over collection. Collecting too much of any product could lead to it expiring before it can reach a patient, and that is not what any of us want.  It makes no sense to collect products that are not being requested for patient care, and the trend nationwide is for hospitals to order less and less red cells and more platelets and plasma.

You can help us manage our inventory in these key ways:

  • Know your blood type.  If you have donated with us, we can tell you what it is and issue you a new donor card if yours is lost.  If you don’t know your blood type, come in and donate, and we will let you know your blood type by mail.
  • Respond to our calls for your blood type and products needed.  These may come via e-mail, telephone, or mail, so be sure your contact information is up to date.
  • Make appointments.  If we know who is planning on coming in to donate blood, platelets or plasma we can do the best job of managing inventories.
  • If your blood type is not needed for whole blood, give automated donation a try.  The need for platelets and plasma is still growing.

DocsOrdersWe appreciate your support to ensure we have just what the doctor ordered on hand.  To make an appointment or find out what is needed today for your blood type give us a call at 661-616-2505.


Blood Type 101

If you have ever wondered what your blood type means, here are the basics for you.

US Blood TypeThe percentage of people in the United States with each blood type is shown here.  As you can see, AB is the rarest blood type, so we need to stock the least of it. ABs are the universal recipient, meaning they can take any blood type. On the other hand, not only do the most people have type O blood, type O blood can go to any of the other blood types. This makes Os the “universal donor”, and most requested blood type by the hospitals we serve.

blood typesSo why do you have the blood type you do?  You inherited it from your parents.  Type is determined by surface proteins on your red blood cells. These proteins are called antigens.

Rh FactorYou also have a – or + sign assigned to your blood type, such as O- or A+.  This is an important distinction determined by another surface protein on the red cells as described in this chart.  Blood that is Rh- can go to Rh+ patients, but not the other way around.  Knowing your blood type is particularly important foThis is particularly crucial to O- women of child-bearing years who can only have O- blood to avoid reproductive issues.

Hopefully this information explains the importance of knowing your blood type and responding when needed.  If you need a replacement for your Donor Card with blood type information, just give us a call at 661-323-4222.

Special Offer for Tehachapi Area Donors

Tehachapi Trima donor Loree Gracey, her dog AbbeNormal and Houchin Account Manager Christina Scrivner at Souza Winery

Thanks to Tehachapi Trima donor Loree Gracey and her dog AbbeNormal, close to $500 was donated to Houchin when they served as celebrity bartenders on October 3, 2015 at Souza Family Vineyards. The funds will be used to raise awareness of automated donation, or our Trima program, which allows donors to donate much-needed platelets and plasma. This automated donation process can only be done at our Bakersfield donor centers, so Tehachapi area donors who participate in the program between November 1 and January 31 will be entered to win a $250 Visa gift card.  A second card will be awarded in the summer of 2016 to continue to encourage Tehachapi platelet and plasma donations. Each donation during the specified period will count as one entry for the prize drawing.

Loree GraceyAs reported in the Tehachapi News, Loree Gracey felt “blessed to talk to a lot of people from Tehachapi, a lot of them had no idea on what was needed was more than just blood.” Gracey has said she asks people to give the gift of platelet donation instead of gifts to family and friends at Christmastime. Grace described her treatment while giving platelets in Bakersfield made her feel like “royalty, your comfort is paramount” throughout the process. We appreciate the celebrity bartender donation she earned for us to continue reaching out to Tehachapi donors about the benefits of automated donation to maximize the potential of each donation.

Alpine Tree Discounts for Holiday Glee

IMG_4228Although the need for blood never takes a vacation, the holidays are a tough time to keep donors committed to donate blood, platelets and plasma for patients in need of those lifesaving products.  The universally accepted O negative blood is urgently needed for trauma patients and fragile newborns as the holiday season starts.

To kick off the season of giving, we are teaming up with Alpine Trees from November 30 to December 5, to offer donors coming in to either donor center a 10% discount coupon for a fresh-cut Alpine Tree at IMG_4234either the Oak and 24th or Wible and Oak Street locations.  Donors can also enter to win a free $60 tree for themselves, and nominate a needy family to receive a tree as well.  One needy family will be chosen from all entries received.

This Alpine Trees, Houchin Ts and Holiday Glee event kicked off on Monday evening, November 30, 2015 at the Alpine Tree lot at 24th and Oak to unveil this year’s limited edition winter t-shirt which is free to blood donors while supplies last.  Alpine Tree staff were wearing the shirts and there was even a special guest on hand to celebrate the theme of this year’s shirt: The Life Force is in You.

We appreciate this first ever partnership with Alpine Trees during the holiday season!

Thanksgiving Hours

Happy-ThanksgivingWe have special holiday hours on Wednesday, November 25 from 9 am to 3 pm at both locations, and will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, November 26, 2015. The need for blood, platelets and plasma does not take vacations, so we hope to see donors in before and after the holidays.  O- blood is in very short supply.

We are thankful for our donors and wish you and yours a very happy Thanksgiving!

O- Blood Supply Dangerously Low

O- Blood NeededWe are in constant need of O-negative blood, and try to maintain a stock of more than 100 units at all times to support our hospitals. O- is the one type of blood that absolutely always has to be on hand because it can go to anyone to save a life. As the universal blood type it is required for emergencies of all kinds and for fragile newborns who often need transfusions of O- blood.  If you are in the 7% of the population who have O- blood, you can help anyone, yet should you need blood, O- is what you need. Truly the life you save may be your own with an O- blood donation.

Having a well-stocked blood supply is crucial to keeping our trauma centers functioning, and O-negative blood at a bedside can mean the difference between life and death. We urge all eligible O- donors to come in to donate as only they can fill this critical public health need for our community.


Tehachapi Donor News

We’d like to share news from Tehachapi this month with two announcements of interest to donors.

Cheers to CharityCheers for Charity has awarded a $275 mini-grant to Houchin Community Blood Bank to boost holiday donation in the greater Tehachapi area from mid-November to mid-January. We are pleased to be one of 17 organizations receiving funding from the nonprofit Cheers for Charity.  The group’s charitable donations are 75% higher this year according to long time blood donor and committee member Mary Beth Garrison, thanks to great support of their fundraising activities. More information about the holiday promotion made possible by Cheers for Charity will be coming to our Tehachapi area donors in November.

Loree Gracey

Tehachapi resident Loree Gracey donates platelets at the Bolthouse Donor Center in Bakersfield with Alicia.

Tehachapi resident Loree Gracey will be the Celebrity Bartender at Souza Family Vineyards pouring wine from 2-5 pm on Sunday, October 4 at the winery, 26877 Cummings Valley Road in Tehachapi.  She will be accompanied by her maltese, AbbeNormal, who is the real celebrity according to Loree. The event is open to the public.

AbbeNormal needed heart surgery to repair two holes in her heart at only 9 weeks old, and she grabs all the attention wherever they go. Together they will raise funds for Houchin Community Blood Bank and increase awareness about the need for platelet donation. Loree is passionate about the cause because the need has increased with advances in medical technology.

“Platelet donations can be used by doctors to help patients before surgery and aid in their recovery,” said Christina Scrivner, Tehachapi area Account Manager for Houchin. The blood bank uses the latest computerized equipment to collect multiple blood products in the same visit. “We appreciate this opportunity to explain more about automated donation to Tehachapi donors at the beautiful Souza Family WInery,” she added.


Good Neighbor Blood Drive

Angie and Mallory

Angie was happy to see Mallory Cuevas from Kern Schools Federal Credit Union during the neighborhood blood drive.

seven Oaks day 1The first ever Seven Oaks Good Neighbor Blood Drive was held on Wednesday, September 23 from noon to 4 pm at the Bolthouse Donor Center, 11515 Bolthouse Drive. There were hourly and grand prize drawings thanks to the neighbors!

In-Shape Seven Oaks provided a one month pass to its Diamond Level facility just north of our Bolthouse Donor Center at Ming and Buena Vista, which was won by Jaime Doniaz. Runaway Gypsy, a new boutique in the same shopping center near In-Shape, provided a mystery bag won by Christine Cunningham.

Winners of hourly drawings for tote bags jam-packed with neighborhood goodies, and gift cards provided by The Village at Seven Oaks Assisted Living & Memory Care were: Angeline Garcia, Jacquie Russo, David Kaus, Andrea Darnell, Arturo Esparza, Betty Garcia, Sherrie Clayton and Michelle Sharp.

We thank all the neighbors who helped sponsor the Seven Oaks Good Neighbor Blood Drive:

  • BJs Restaurant and Brewhouse
  • Kern Schools Federal Credit Union
  • Wiki’s Wine Dive & Grill
  • Wali Digital, Inc.
  • McDonald’s
  • Alta One Federal Credit Union
  • Jersey Mike’s Subs
  • Dewar’s Soda Fountain & Fine Candies
  • The Village at Seven Oaks Assisted Living & Memory Care
  • In-Shape Seven Oaks
  • Runaway Gypsy

We really appreciate the neighborly support of the Seven Oaks Good Neighbor Blood Drive! 

Free Pizookie for Donors

BJs-Restaurant-LogoGet your Pizookie® on Saturday, June 27! BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse will be hosting a mobile drive at its Bakersfield location,10750 Stockdale Highway, from noon to 4:00 pm. At the mobile drive, or at either donor center from 8 am to 2 pm, donors will score our free summer t-shirt and a coupon for BJ’s Famous Pizookie® dessert. These coupons are always a real favorite with our donors who know a good thing when they eat it, and believe the opportunity to save lives is all the sweeter with such a special treat!

choc chunk pizookieBJ’s Famous Pizookie® comes in Chocolate Chunk, Peanut Butter and White Chocolate Macadamia Nut, as well as Salted Caramel, Peanut Butter S’mores, Cookies ‘n’ Cream, and Triple Chocolate. There is also a gluten-free Chocolate Chip Pizookie®. These are definitely worth saving room for as each is served warm from the oven and topped with premium ice cream.  Yum!  Don’t miss out on a chance to save lives on BJ’s day at Houchin.

Three-Way Chevrolet-Cadillac Summer Blood Drive

Three WayThree-Way Chevrolet-Cadillac will host The Three-Way Chevrolet-Cadillac Summer Blood Drive to help “drive up blood donations” this summer! The blood drive is open to the public and will be held on Friday, June 26, at 4501 Wible Road in Bakersfield, from 9 am to 3 pm in the Three-way Cadillac showroom at the Bakersfield Auto Mall. We hope to attract 100 donors to this mobile drive.

Quigs Ad Logo MJS 052615 (1) Donors will enjoy a free hot dog and hamburger barbecue from Quig’s BBQ and Catering. Each donor that day will receive one of our summer t-shirts and a Supplier Pricing Certificate to use on qualifying new vehicles!

Three-Way’s mission is to be the premier retail automotive organization in Kern County, by providing customers a superior ownership experience. According to Ted Nicholas, CEO: 83510d784bf5100588b810145efa6b30“At Three-Way Chevrolet-Cadillac our motto is “WE’RE HERE TO HELP!”  That applies not only to providing a great experience for our clients, but to helping out in our community as well.  And what could be a better opportunity to help than to host a blood drive partnering with Houchin Community Blood Bank?”

Old ChevyThree-Way began business in 1956 downtown on Chester Avenue.  The need to expand encouraged the flourishing company to move “out in the country” to 3800 California Avenue in 1969. The award-winning dealership purchased the Cadillac franchise in 2003. Record sales continued, and Three-Way attained the Top Chevrolet and Top GM Retailer in the state of California for 6 consecutive years.  In fact, Three-Way was recognized as the Top Chevrolet Retail Sales Leader in the United States during the months of June and July 2006.

In August that year, Three-Way moved once again to a state-of-the-art dealership facility in the Bakersfield Auto Mall, where they proudly serve all of Kern County’s automotive needs today. Exemplary service, and an earnest desire to help all customers drive not only an affordable, but a superior automobile, are the hallmarks of the dealership.

We are looking forward to our drive at the Cadillac showroom with this great community partner. For an appointment call Three-Way at  661-283-3300 or click here.