NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — The need for blood donation has become crucial as The Blood Center says supply is critically low, They are asking citizens with all types to respond to the call for help.

Patient care is in trouble due to the low inventory and increased use of the existing supply. Hospitals are in jeopardy of canceling elective surgeries until levels are once again stable regionally and nationally.

The Blood Center is currently the primary supplier for more than 50 area hospitals and facilities throughout Southeast Louisiana and Southern Mississippi.

“Transplants and multiple cardiothoracic procedures are scheduled at area hospitals and a significant portion of the existing inventory is needed for these surgeries,” said Dr. Tim Peterson, Medical Director for The Blood Center.

Citizens throughout the Southern Louisiana and Mississippi area are encouraged to participate immediately to answer to the existing transfusion-related needs. If there is a visible increase in donations then both mobile efforts and site locations will extend their hours.

“Donors need to give “NOW” to avert hospitals from being placed into precarious situations that may result in the rescheduling of future patient surgeries, or we may find ourselves incapable of responding to a mass casualty event. The inventory situation nationally is bleak and the ability to garner support from other regions throughout the country via importation is minimal,” said Dr. Peterson.

Anyone looking to donate, remember:

  • Blood donors need to be 17 years of age (or 16 with a parent’s consent) and have a picture ID 
  • The donation process takes less than an hour 
  • Someone needs blood every three seconds 
  • You can donate blood every 56 days 

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