Nonprofit blood provider experiences critical shortage

Local News

BATON ROUGE, La (BRPROUD) – Nonprofit blood provider Vitalant has a critical blood and platelet shortage and is urging all eligible donors to make an appointment now.

Type O blood, which is the most transfused blood type and is vital to helping patients in emergencies, has plummeted to under a two-day supply – its lowest level since May 2020.

“So normally Vitalant and any other blood center likes to keep a four-day supply of blood on their shelves, right now we actually have less than a two-day blood level of blood supply,” said Donor Recruitment Supervisor Adam Fontenot.

Donor Recruiter Ruth Wilburn said not enough people are making and keeping appointments, adding to issues already created by the pandemic and Hurricane Ida.

“You never want to get to where we are now, you never want to get to four days and below,” said Wilburn.

Vitalant is also experiencing a critical shortage of platelet donations.

“We have to collect 250 donations a day but we also have to realize that 250 a day is 250 additional, we are in a deficit,” said Wilburn.

It’s a deficit that affects cancer patients, critical surgeries, and trauma victims.

“As much gun violence as we see here in Baton Rouge, they say that gunshot victims use 10 times the amount of blood of any other tragedy that happens,” said Wilburn.

If you are looking to donate, visit vitalant.org.

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