The Blood Center faces severe shortage ahead of holiday season


FILE – In this Thursday, March 26, 2020 file photo, vials of blood for testing and a donated bag of blood will be sent for testing and use at an American Red Cross blood drive at the Carbondale YMCA in Carbondale, Pa. On Thursday, April 2, 2020, the U.S. government eased restrictions on blood donations from gay men and other key groups because of a drop in the nation’s blood supply triggered by the coronavirus outbreak. (Jake Danna Stevens/The Times-Tribune via AP)

BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — As the coronavirus pandemic continues ravaging through the United States, the nation’s blood supply of all blood types has become severely low, including at The Blood Center locations in Louisiana.

“With only 30% of our minimum inventory of blood on hand, should a scenario occur requiring massive transfusions, the ability to meet those transfusion needs of area patients could be jeopardized without the immediate support of the public at large,” The Blood Center Medical Director Dr. Tim Peterson said. “It is imperative that anyone who is eligible donates now and brings a friend or family member with them to reverse this downward spiral in inventory levels.”

Peterson said eligible donors can donate blood as often as every 56 days.

The Blood Center is screening all donations for COVID-19 antibodies to identify potential convalescent plasma donors, and results will be available three to five days after donation, according to The Blood Center Public Relations Manager Paul Adams.

The Blood Center urges donors to visit the day they plan to give blood to begin the registration screening, which will accelerate the donation process. Donors will also be required to wear masks, be in good health and weigh at least 110 pounds to donate blood. Adults age 17 and up can donate blood, and 16-year-olds can donate blood with parental consent, according to The Blood Center.

For more information on blood donation, click here or call (800) 86-BLOOD. For a full list of open locations in Louisiana, click here.


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