Anemia calls for hours-long closure of the Harbor-UCLA Medical Trauma Center

Anemia forced the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services to close one of its trauma centers to new patients for hours earlier in the week – a step it had not taken for more than three decades, county officials said Wednesday.

The trauma center at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center closed Monday for new patients for more than two hours, according to a department spokesman. It had to contact other hospitals in the DHS system to get blood to be able to reopen.

Dr. Marianne Gausche-Hill, medical director of the Los Angeles County EMS Agency, said LA County had not had to close a trauma center to patients due to inadequate blood supplies for more than 30 years.

“I can not stress enough how urgent and critical this anemia is for LA County residents,” Gausche-Hill said.

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