Blood Center urges residents to donate after Barry impacted collection

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Photo: Vince Little / US Army

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WDSU)

Blood donors are needed after Barry halted blood collections over the last week.

Flooding throughout New Orleans Wednesday hampered blood collections across the community and evacuations caused rescheduling of blood drives Friday.

The Blood Center canceled all blood collections Saturday and Sunday, leaving a significantly depleted inventory of blood and blood components available for area patients.

The Blood Center operates 12 donor centers across Southeast Louisiana and Mississippi. Donors can call (800) 86-BLOOD or visit TheBloodCenter.org for center locations and hours.

“Losing several days of collections severely impacts the ability to meet regional hospitalized patient demands for blood and blood components. Medical procedures don’t stop due to adverse weather conditions and patients requiring blood transfusions rely on donors to maintain a healthy blood supply,” said Paul Adams, a spokesman for The Blood Center. “We need our community to give today. All eligible residents should donate now so we can meet transfusion related demands of patients throughout Southern Louisiana and Mississippi.”

Blood collection organizations in other areas of the country assisted The Blood Center with area hospital needs, but the local community makes the greatest impact in preventing area blood supply shortages. Local patients rely on the community to replenish the local blood supply.

In order to maintain a healthy and stable community blood supply, The Blood Center must collect between 300 and 350 pints of blood every day. Donating blood is safe, simple and takes less than an hour. Just one pint can help save up to three lives.

About 60% of the population is eligible to donate blood, but only 5% actually do. Donors must be in good health, weigh a minimum of 110 pounds and be at least 17 years of age (or 130 pounds and 16 with a signed TBC parental consent form) to donate blood.

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