Louisiana is experiencing a major blood shortage. Officials are saying it’s because of the coronavirus.
Tuesday the LifeShare Blood Center in Baton Rouge was a ghost town-a sight official say is common these days.
LifeShare Blood Center’s regional director, Stephanie Duplessis, says since the coronavirus outbreak, blood donations are down about 50%.
“I have been in this business for 30 years and you see the ebb and flow of donations but right now we’re seeing those drops early because of this,” Duplessis said.
Duplessiss says people aren’t donating because they are afraid they may contract the virus while donating. But physicians say you can’t catch the virus through donating blood.
“Surgeries end up getting cancelled because we don’t have the blood on the shelf to maintain that,” she said. “We want to make sure that we have regular donors coming in to donate.”
Duplessis says the severe lack of blood may force the center to declare a critical shortage. Center employees started to pitch in and donate their blood during this difficult time.
“People should donate more often cause right now we’re really really low,” an employee said.
According to the Red Cross every two seconds someone in the United States needs blood. Duplessis encourages residents to educate themselves instead of being afraid.