Baton Rouge hospitals work with small business in hopes of getting more people to donate blood during the pandemic

Baton Rouge hospitals work with small business in hopes of getting more people to donate blood durin

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - More than 2,000 Louisianans are in the hospital with COVID-19, and the disease is killing nearly 40 people every day, but the phones at the blood donation banks have stopped ringing.

Baton Rouge General says it took half as much blood in 2020 as the year before, and more people need donations now than ever. So, the hospital is partnering with city leaders like Mid City Redevelopment and Merchants, along with Circa 1857 to get more folks to roll up their sleeves.

“Well Baton Rouge is having a shortage and every hospital will tell you they are having a blood shortage. So, Mid City community really comes together and whenever we send out a call to action, we’re blown away by the Mid City participation,” says Garrett Kemp who is the owner of Circa 1857.

Some are coming out to donate blood to help hospitals with major surgeries and procedures; others are coming out to help with COVID-19. People who’ve had the virus have especially valuable blood plasma because it contains antibodies that can help sick people fight the illness.

“I wanted to be able to come out and be a part of it. I had COVID, so I am anxious to find out the antibodies, and just be able to give blood and support the community, and it about being a part of the solution,” says DD Breaux who is the former coach of LSU gymnastics.

For some folks they are remembering the basics: Just by squeezing the ball, one person can save up to three lives, and it just takes a teaspoon to save a baby.

“With everything that is going on I really do believe that the smaller businesses and local community…all of us coming together. We’re making a bigger impact than some of the really larger pushes, so I’m proud of that,” says Melanie Bennett who is eager to donate today. Those in the Mid City community hope their contribution will make a difference and encourage others to donate as well.

Those who did come out to donate blood today did get a free antibody test. Lifeshare Blood Center is willing to offer free antibody tests for anyone willing to donate blood. Click here to make your next appointment.

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