Hospitals in need of blood donations as COVID-19 cases rise

Local News

BATON ROUGE, La (BRPRROUD)- Hospitals are in need of blood donations as the south finds itself in another surge of COVID-19. Blood donations are considered an essential healthcare activity and Vilitant is prepared to accept volunteer donors.

Vitalant is the nation’s largest independent, non-profit blood service provider for about 900 hospitals and patients across the United States.

“Just this month, we’ve already lost over 230 units of blood due to cancelled blood drives and missed appointments,” said Julie Eaton, Regional Director. “We are following all of the directives from the CDC to ensure that our donors and staff remain safe and healthy.”

If you want to donate blood, you can go to the donation center located at:

8234 One Calais Avenue

Baton Rouge, La 70809

Donations crucial to meet both anticipated and unexpected needs

It’s the blood already on the shelf that helps save lives during disasters and everyday emergencies. The Delta variant has forced Vitalant to cancel blood drives in affected areas, and with hurricane season next on the list, it’s crucial to keep the donations coming. Donors in unaffected areas can help patients in their community or across the country as Vitalant’s distribution networks helps ensure blood is available when and where it’s needed most.

Urgent need for donors of all types

The need for type O blood is especially urgent. Type O is the most transfused blood type. O-negative is what emergency room personnel reach for when there is not time to determine a patient’s blood type. Platelet donations are critically needed. Platelets must be transfused within a week of donation and are used to help cancer patients, organ transplant patients, people who have open-heart surgery and to those with blood disorders.

First-time donors can get sneak peek of their blood type

New donors are also vital to meeting patient needs. First-time donors with Vitalant can now get a glimpse at their blood type immediately* when they donate. Lab confirmation of blood type results and other useful health information is available about a week after donation in the donor’s online account.

How to give

To learn more and schedule an appointment to donate, please visit vitalant.org or call 877-25-VITAL (877-258-4825). Those who received a Food and Drug Administration authorized COVID-19 vaccine can give blood immediately if other eligibility requirements are met. Vitalant follows strict protocols to ensure the safety of donors, patients, and staff, including social distancing and other precautions. To support a safe environment and most efficiently follow the latest CDC guidance, effective Aug. 9, masks are required for all donors, staff, volunteers and guests at Vitalant blood drives and facilities regardless of vaccination status.

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