Pandemic ‘severely’ impacting U.S. blood supply, donations needed

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LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – The coronavirus pandemic is severely impacting the U.S. blood supply, according to blood center, Vitalant.

Officials say that with school closures and business shutdowns, 25% of the center’s blood collections anticipated in March have disappeared “almost overnight.”

Vitalant says it’s extremely important right now for healthy people to make blood donations.

You can make an appointment by calling 877-258-4825 or by going online at vitalant.org. 

You can also visit their donation centers (located at 1503 Bertrand Dr. Lafayette or 1234 David Dr. #102 Morgan City) and public blood drives:

  • Wal-Mart Ville Platte, March 20 from 2:30-6pm
  • Wal-Mart New Iberia, March 23 from 11am-2pm
  • Wal-Mart Broussard, March 24 from 12:30-3:30pm
  • Wal-Mart Breaux Bridge, March 26 from 2-5:30pm

Our blood collection sites are a ‘first response’ action to this outbreak versus a gathering that needs to be avoided. If you’re healthy, you’re needed now more than ever. We cannot let it get to the point where there’s no blood available for trauma patients, those undergoing cancer treatment and patients who need regular, ongoing blood transfusions just to survive.

Dr. Ralph Vassallo, Vitalant’s chief medical and scientific officer

According to officials, sick people should not donate blood; blood centers do not test for the Coronavirus. Blood centers have always required individuals to be in good health to donate, and the blood collection process follows policies established by the FDA to ensure the health and safety of donors and patients.

Vitalant says they continue to “closely monitor the situation” and will “quickly implement any necessary changes” as new information emerges from the CDC and FDA.

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