The Blood Center is looking for a lifeline

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NEW ORLEANS — Life saving treatments could be in jeopardy as blood centers across the country report their lowest donor turnout in more than a year.

The shortage is partially driven by usage going up as people are getting elective surgeries they might have put off because of the pandemic. Also, some are hesitant as COVID concerns linger.

The Blood Center in New Orleans is looking for a lifeline.

“We’re starting to really feel the effects of things that occurred in March and April of last year come to fruition,” said Paul Adams, public relations manager of The Blood Center.

There’s a critical shortage that could get worse as summer approaches. The center needs to collect 300 to 350 units of blood daily to serve more than 60 hospitals in Southern Louisiana and Mississippi.

“There isn’t blood out there for us to call up Houston or Alaska to help us out. We have to take care of the patients in our community,” Adams said.

One contributing factor to the shortage is the blood buses are not hitting the road and that means less people are walking up to donate.

“Blood cannot be manufactured so we really need people to roll up their sleeves. It’s simple, it takes less than an hour of your time and literally can mean a life for someone else,” said Adams.

The center’s goal is to have a three day supply of blood on hand.

On Wednesday, there will be a blood drive at City Hall from 8:30 until 3:00. All blood types are needed, but especially type O-negative.

Blood centers are taking extra precautions to make sure everyone stays safe and healthy. It’s also recommended that you eat a good meal before donating blood.

Click here for a list of blood donation sites.

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