I would like to thank the Imperial Valley Press for promoting the need for blood in the recent article titled "Local blood donations need a boost," and clarify several statements made in the story.
Several statistics were cited that were applicable to Southern California. For example, Southern California hospitals import approximately 40 percent of the blood needed for transfusion from blood centers located outside California. This did not mean to imply that blood received in El Centro is imported from out of the state. The citizens of the Imperial Valley have always been generous blood donors and local hospital patients should be assured that the American Red Cross is there to help ensure blood is there when needed.
The postponement of an organ transplant surgery was also discussed. Organ transplant surgery does not occur in the El Centro area and local transplant patients must travel to major medical centers outside the Imperial Valley to receive this lifesaving procedure. An organ transplant planned at a San Diego County hospital was recently postponed due to a lack of blood.