Hospitals rely on healthy, volunteer blood donors for their patients. Blood cannot be manufactured, and while 38% of the population is eligible to donate, only about 2% actually do, putting hospitals at risk of not having that life-saving blood transfusion when it’s needed most. And with blood having a short shelf life, the need is constant.
Blood supplies continue shrinking as Health Professionals throughout South Louisiana urge community support. Increased elective surgeries, fewer large blood drives, and locations able to host large drives all factor into the shortage. All blood types are needed as hospitals begin putting limits on usage.
According to America’s Blood Centers and the American Red Cross, centers nationwide have reported declines in blood collections in recent weeks. Some have reported their lowest donor turnout in more than a year. These trends are concerning, as both patients and blood centers depend on the altruism of donors to ensure that blood is available for life-saving treatments.
What causes a patient to need a blood transfusion?
There are multiple different scenarios where a patient would require a blood transfusion. Most common are during surgical procedures, trauma, hemorrhaging during childbirth, individuals with blood disorders. and treatment of various cancer related illnesses. It vital to our ability to care for patients that all of our hospitals have adequate supply of blood on hand to treat various illnesses and emergencies.
What patients that may need blood can do?
In the time leading up to your surgery, get two people to help support our hospital’s blood supply. Your friends and family members regardless of blood type, all have life-saving potential for someone. Donating blood helps make sure blood is on the shelf for you, as well as others.
Who can donate?
Healthy individuals 16 years or older and weighing at least 110 pounds are eligible to donate blood. 16 year olds must weigh at least 130 pounds and have signed parental consent. Most people realize soon after their first donation experience that donating blood is easy and painless. Moreover, donating blood is completely safe. Eligible donors are encouraged to visit any one of TBC's donor center locations or call TBC to book a mobile blood drive.
Visit thebloodcenter.org to find out how and where you can donate.