Community Involvement

LAC, American Red Cross host blood drive

LAC employee giving blood
Christy Ulstad,, LAC Employee Relations Officer

Lifesaving blood donated by CDCR and CCHCS staff

California State Prison, Los Angeles County (LAC), recently held a blood drive with the American Red Cross.

Workers and donors adhered to strict COVID-19 guidelines, sanitizing and cleaning stations between each donor.

Staff quickly signed up for the blood drive to ensure lifesaving blood products are available for patients. The blood drive was a success as LAC surpassed their goal.

Warden R.C. Johnson and Chief Deputy Warden Donald Ulstad thanked the staff for their efforts and commitment to donate blood for the community.

According to organizers, staff donated enough blood to save as many as 140 lives.

What happens to donated blood?

  • When test results are received, units suitable for transfusion are labeled and stored.
  • Red cells are stored in refrigerators at 6ºC for up to 42 days.
  • Platelets are stored at room temperature in agitators for up to five days.
  • Plasma and cryoprecipitate are frozen and stored in freezers for up to one year.
  • Blood is available to be shipped to hospitals 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Hospitals typically keep some blood units on shelves, but may call for more at any time if needed.
  • Blood transfusions are given to patients in a wide range of circumstances, including serious injuries (such as in a car crash) surgeries, child birth, anemia, blood disorders, cancer treatments, and many others. See How Blood Donations Help.
  • A patient suffering from an iron deficiency or anemia may receive red blood cells to increase their hemoglobin and iron levels, improving the amount of oxygen in the body.
  • Patients who are unable to make enough platelets, due to illness or chemotherapy, may receive platelet transfusions to stay healthy.
  • Plasma transfusions are used for patients with liver failure, severe infections, and serious burns.
  • (Information taken from the American Red Cross website.)

See how CDCR and CCHCS remain community involved.

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