Ochsner blood bank critically low, requesting donations from community

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NEW ORLEANS — The Ochsner Blood Bank, like blood banks across the country, are experiencing critical blood shortages and need donations from the community. While all blood types are needed, there is an immediate need of platelets and Type O red cells. 

Why is it so important to donate blood right now?

  • This shortage in blood supply is an unfortunate symptom of the COVID-19 pandemic—people have been reluctant to visit donation centers.
  • It’s estimated that 4.5 million Americans need blood transfusions each year. Just one donation can save up to three lives.
  • Blood is needed every five seconds – for babies, leukemia patients, burn victims, emergency surgeries, organ transplants, trauma patients and the list goes on.
  • Few acts are as simple, and yet so generous, as donating blood. And the only source for this blood is you, the volunteer donor. Volunteers donate all of this country’s blood supply for transfusions. Simply put, there is no other source. Ochsner needs your help to ensure a safe and adequate blood supply for the community.

Has the pandemic heightened the need for blood donors? Why or why not?

  • Yes, the pandemic has led to members of the public being wary of leaving their homes and coming into our donation centers to give blood. 
  • As a result, Ochsner Blood Bank, like blood banks across the country, is experiencing critical blood shortages. While all blood types are needed, there is an immediate need o of platelets and Type O red cells. 
  • It is safe to come to one of our blood donation centers or a blood drive in our Bloodmobile and donate blood. Donors and employees are required to wear masks and donors undergo routine screening questions and temperature checks before donation. Stations have always been cleaned and sanitized in between uses, but our protocols now call for even more and enhanced sanitation methods to protect not only our donors, but our employees as well.  
  • You can donate blood at our stationary blood centers at Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans, Ochsner Medical Center- West Bank Campus in Gretna and Ochsner Medical Center- Kenner. You can find days and hours of operation at www.ochsner.org/bloodbank

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