There’s a critical blood supply shortage, due to the coronavirus pandemic. That’s according to Vitalant, a blood collection center in Lafayette.
The center says Louisiana’s statewide ‘stay-at-home’ order forced the cancellation of 950 blood drives since March, which led to more than 19,000 uncollected blood donations. Currently, there’s a 25% increase in the need for blood, now that restrictions on surgeries and other medical procedures have been removed.
“It’s absolutely vital, a matter of life or death for some, to have enough blood collected, and readily available on hospital shelves when patients need it,” said Dr. Ralph Vassallo, Vitalant Chief Medical Officer. “We strive to maintain a 4-day supply of blood just to provide what patients need, and currently we’re at less than half that for certain blood types.”
Vitalant says all blood types are needed, especially type O, A-negative, and B-negative. The center must collect 250 blood donations per day to meet patients’ transfusion needs in Louisiana.
You can go to vitalant.org, or call 877-258-4825, to schedule an appointment to give blood.