BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Since Memorial Day, blood donations have been plummeting, forcing the United Blood Services to make an emergency request for all blood types, especially all Rh negative types: A-negative, B-negative, AB-negative, and O-negative.
United Blood Services says the 4th of July holiday has contributed to their low supply. Reserves have decreased to less than one day's worth of blood on hand. This is particularly worrisome because it takes 24-36 hours to test and process a donation of blood before it can be given to a patient in need.
Donors of all blood types are being urged to donate now.
To schedule a donation online, visit www.bloodhero.com or call 877-UBS-HERO (877-827-4376).
"Unfortunately, due to high patient usage and fewer donations from the public, we find it necessary to alert the public about the dire need for all blood types, especially the Rh negative types. If you are eligible to donate, please give now," says Mitzi Breaux, marketing and communications manager for United Blood Services.
Those with Rh negative blood types are encouraged to speak with a United Blood Services staff member about donating Double Red Cells to maximize their impact.
Blood donations can be made at the Baton Rouge Donor Center at 8234 One Calais, the service road at I-10 and Essen Ln. Hours are as follows:
Monday: 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Tuesday: 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Wednesday: 7 a.m.-3 p.m.
Friday: 7 a.m.-2 p.m.
Saturday: 8 a.m.-2 p.m.
Sunday: 7 a.m.-1 p.m.
If you'd like to donate, you can complete the Health History Questionnaire online at www.UnitedBloodServices.org on the day of your appointment. Donors must be at least 16 years old, weigh at least 110 lbs., and be healthy. Donors who are 16 must have a permission form signed by their parent or legal guardian. That permission form can be found online.
Donors also receive a free cholesterol test and point in the online rewards store "Hero in Me." Points can be redeemed for move tickets, gift cards, pizza, and more. A photo ID is required to donate.