Tropical Storm Barry resulted in the temporary closure of Vitalant’s Lafayette, Baton Rouge and Morgan City donation centers for two or more days. Several mobile blood drives were also cancelled, resulting in a loss of over 200 anticipated blood and platelet donations.
Both the local and national blood supply was already at a critically low level. The loss of these blood donations has a significant impact on the stability of our local blood supply.
“Our Lafayette, Baton Rouge and Morgan City donation centers are now open and accepting donations,” said Shawn Shields, Sr. Director of Recruitment for Vitalant. “However, we continue to see the cancellation of mobile blood drives, growing the number of lost donations.
If you are eligible and can safely travel, we urge you to give blood this week to help replenish the blood supply.” Donations from O-negative donors, the universal blood type, are especially important this time of year due to increased accidents and trauma cases.
The current O-negative blood supply sits at an approximate two-day supply, which is half of the ideal quantity needed to support patient needs.
Additionally, platelet donations, which have a shelf-life of only five days, are always in high demand. However, donors of all types are needed.