Blood supply critically low; donors needed

Blood supply critically low; donors needed
Source: LifeShare Facebook page

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - LifeShare Blood Center is issuing an emergency appeal for blood donors.

In a release, with the support of several hospital partners, including the Baton Rouge General Burn Unit and the Pennington Cancer Center, officials say patient care is being severely threatened by an inadequate blood supply.

“Unfortunately, for many people, it is a problem you don’t realize exists unless you have a friend or family member in the hospital whose treatment is delayed or postponed because blood is not available,” says LifeShare Regional Director Stephanie Duplessis.

The critically low supply has forced the company to ration blood.

“Hospitals may ask us for 20 units, but they only get 10. We can’t send what we don’t have. We consider an adequate blood supply to be about a 3-5 day supply of red blood cells. This (Memorial Day) weekend we had as little as an 8 hour supply of some blood type,” says Sr. Director of Blood Operations Benjamin Prijatel.

Blood supplies typically run low during the summer months while people are readjusting their routines to accommodate for kids being out of school and vacations.

Anyone able to donate is encouraged to go to a blood donation center or drive to be screened. It only takes 15 minutes to find out if you are eligible.

LifeShare has a donation center on North Boulevard in Baton Rouge.

LIFESHARE BLOOD CENTER

  • 3849 North Blvd., Baton Rouge

For more information call 800-256-4483 or go to the LifeShare website.

HOURS

  • Monday, Wednesday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Donated blood is often used as part of a life-saving medical treatment for accident victims, patients with blood disorders, those undergoing cancer treatments, experiencing complications during childbirth, and many more situations.

Blood must be given before it’s needed so it can be tested to determine suitability for patient transfusion. That process can take 24 or more hours and is too long in emergencies when people need blood now. Therefore, the blood supply must continually be replenished to meet the constant need.

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