LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — The winter ice storm has created a dire need for blood donations in hospitals.
The freezing conditions have left the blood supply at Our Lady of Lourdes Blood Center critically low and hundreds of patients in need.
“The need for blood does not get a snow day, and even though we had snow days this week and we have the pandemic, the need for blood does not slow down,” Supervisor of Lourdes Blood Donor Center Suzie Picard said.
When the ice storm froze Acadiana this week, Lourdes couldn’t collect blood or platelet donations, and now they’re two days behind.
It’s those donations cancer patients as well as people undergoing surgeries and traumas rely on to survive.
“We transfuse upwards of 600 to 700 products a month in the Lourdes facility alone, and that’s not including Women and Children’s or other hospitals that are in our system,” Picard said.
The transfusions allow hundreds of people keep fighting, but they’re only possible because strangers donated blood.
“If you’re undergoing cancer treatment and the therapy is causing your blood levels to drop, it causes you to feel very tired, and you’re bleeding unnecessarily,” she explained. “So these patients rely on blood available to, so to speak, fuel up for a weekend, and their quality of life that weekend is much better because they’ve received some blood that they’ve lost through this treatment.”
With hundreds of patients in need and blood supplies running critically low, Lourdes is asking the community for help.
“The need for blood just does not get a snow day, and it’s just really important that those of us that are able and are healthy donate. Please don’t forget to make that appointment and do so as soon as possible,” Picard said.
In addition to blood, Picard says they are also low on platelets.
To donate blood or platelets, you can go to the Lourdes Blood Donor Center on the third floor of the Moncus medical building.
Donors are asked to call ahead and schedule a time to give blood at (337) 470-4483.
LifeShare Blood Center is also hosting an emergency blood drive on Friday, Feb. 19 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Opelousas General Health System’s third-floor auditorium.