BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The tragic shooting in Lafayette has impacted one of the largest hospital-based blood suppliers in the country. Our Lady of the Lake Hospital (OLOL) in Baton Rouge supplied the blood needed to treat multiple victims.
The shooting rampage at the Grand 16 Theatre brought Lafayette to its knees. No one expected it there in the quiet Cajun community.
When the lone gunman, James Houser, opened fire into a crowd of moviegoers, Mayci Breaux, 21, was killed and ten others were rushed to the hospital. Among them was Jillian Johnson, 33, who did not survive, but a lot of the victims who did survive needed blood.
David Gremillion, the Director of Blood Services at OLOL, said Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Lafayette is just one of more than 20 facilities in the state that rely on blood collected through the OLOL donor center.
"My first response was to make sure we had an adequate supply at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Lafayette," Gremillion said.
Gremillion said right now supplies are running low.
"We are struggling right now with our O- inventory," Gremillion said.
Routine donors, like Albert Pellegrin, help replenish the supply.
"I've been coming almost every week," Pellegrin said.
However, Gremillion said the hospital needs at least 100 donations a day just to meet the demand for the region.
"We are in decent shape right now, but it doesn't take much. One trauma, one big surgery can put a dent in the blood supply very quickly," Gremillion said.
The blood collected is brought into the blood production facility at OLOL to be tested, labeled and stored for distribution. The process to have blood ready for distribution takes two days. Meanwhile, requests for supplies are constantly coming into the center.
"This is the Lourdes hospital bank inventory. It is faxed to us every day, "Gremillion said.
Gremillion urges everyone who can to contribute.
"Please consider donating blood. We really need you," Gremillion said.
Those who are eligible to donate can do so at Our Lady of the Lake Hospital during regular hospital hours.