‘Louisiana needs to step up and donate’: Emergency blood drive as blood supply and donations become increasingly low

Local News

BATON ROUGE, La (BRPROUD)- COVID-19 numbers are surging and while it is affecting every aspect of our lives, it’s greatly affecting blood supply. COVID-19 has caused several blood drives in the city to cancel, as a result the need for blood donations is increasing.

Ruth Wilburn is a donor recruitment representative with Vitalant Blood Services, she believes that the shift to virtual learning has also played a part in why supply is much lower than before.

“In the United States 30% of the blood, 30-35% of the blood comes from high school and college students,” said Wilburn.

To combat this, Frank’s Restaurant Grill and Bar in Prairieville hosted a blood drive in hopes that community members would do their part in helping with the donation of blood.

According to Wilburn, Louisiana is considered an import state, meaning blood is imported from other areas into the state to assist where it’s needed.

“That’s just on a regular day, not with COVID-19, not with everything else going on,” said Wilburn”

While there are many reasons connected to COVID-19 that explain why people have not been back to mobile blood donations in their communities, Wilburn said meeting the need is bigger than the fear.

“Will I get COVID by donating blood? No, but you can help someone with COVID by donating blood,” said Wilburn.  

Now Wilburn is challenging the community to make a serious difference.  

“You cannot do surgeries without blood, you cannot treat emergencies without blood, replenishing blood donations is essential for life, for you, for me, for everyone,” said Wilburn.  

To learn more and schedule an appointment to donate, visit vitalant.org or call 877-25-VITAL (877-258-4825).

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