Louisiana, nation facing a major blood shortage

The nation and the state of Lousiana are dealing with a major blood shortage. Blood banks are urging donor’s to step up and donate now. 
Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood. That’s according to the Amercian Red Cross. It’s a life-saving resource for injuries, surgeries and cancer treatment. 
“If there is blood on a unit and a patient is losing blood that can mean extra minutes, extra hours and that can definitely mean the difference between life and death,” said April Courville with Acadian Companies. 
Acadian Air Med is just one of many organization that relys on blood donations. Courville says they have four units of blood on every aircraft at all times. 
But Mitzi Breaux with Vitalant says donations are falling behind this time of year. 
 “We are in an urgent need for all blood types right now, especially O negative, O positive, all negative blood types and platelet donations,”  Breaux said.
Historically, January is a tough month for blood donations but the need is still there. Nationwide, 5,000 blood donations are needed each day to save lives.
In Acadiana, 200 donations are needed each day to meet the demand. 
“That’s why we ask people to donate on a regular basis at least three times a year because we have to constantly replenish,” Breaux said. 
The shelf life of a pint of blood is about 42 days. Platelets have five days. 
“One person donates one unit of blood so just four people coming in to donate one unit of blood can mean you’re saving the life of someone else,” Courville said. 
January happens to be National Blood Donor Month to encourage folks to donate year round. Learn more at vitalant.org.

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