Baton Rouge doctors say national blood shortage is hitting home


BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD)- According to Dr. Marc Laparousse, a physician at Our Lady of the Lake, nationally there is only a day and a half supply of blood and in Baton Rouge there is even less than that.

“We never know when one of ourselves or a loved one is going to need blood,” Laparousse said.

The dire need of blood comes after patients return to the hospital. Surgeries and producers that were cancelled because of the pandemic are now resuming all at once.

In the past few weeks Laparousse has noticed an uptick in trauma at the hospital. He says trauma has to do with the state coming out of the pandemic.

“The world is reopening back up, people are on the roads, people are more active. All those things put people at a higher risk for trauma,” he said. “Blood saves lives.”

Many blood drives were cancelled due to the pandemic and people were afraid to donate blood because of the unknown.

Laparousse says the coronavirus should not stop someone from donating blood. Blood can be donated if a person has gotten the covid vaccine.

If a person caught covid in the past, they are clear to donate blood after 14 days of symptoms.

“You are eligible to donate blood even if you received your vaccine that same day,” said Jay Thomas, Blood Donor Center, manager.

O positive and O negative blood is the most critical. 

Information on where to donate is available here.

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