The Blood Center urges donations as National blood supplies reach historically low levels

Published 4:21 pm Thursday, December 9, 2021

New Orleans, LA –The Blood Center’s inventory of all blood types is critically low locally, with less than a one-day supply; just as centers across the country are experiencing historically low blood supplies.

“We need the public to respond immediately to replenish blood supplies for existing transfusion related needs” says Dr. Tim Peterson, Medical Director for The Blood Center. “Transplants and multiple cardiothoracic procedures are scheduled at area hospitals and a significant portion of the existing inventory is needed for these surgeries.”

Holiday travel and gatherings, Hurricane Ida and ongoing challenges due to the COVID pandemic have continued to contribute to the deteriorating reserve of blood and blood components.

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“Donors need to give NOW so hospitals aren’t asked to reschedule future patient surgeries, or we find ourselves incapable of responding to a mass casualty event” continues Dr. Peterson. “The inventory situation nationally is presently very bleak and the ability to garner support from other regions throughout the country via importation is unattainable.”

The Blood Center, a nonprofit organization led by a volunteer Board of Directors, is the primary supplier of blood and blood components to more than 50 area hospitals and outpatient facilities throughout Southeast Louisiana and Southern Mississippi. The Blood Center operates six donor centers in the Gulf South.

Every type is the right type, and while 60% of the population is eligible to donate blood, less than 5% does it. To maintain a healthy and stable community blood supply, The Blood Center must collect between 300 to 350 pints of blood every day.

Fast facts:

  • 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

Blood is traditionally in short supply during the holidays, yet the demand for blood and blood components is constant. Find The Blood Center on social media at @TheBloodCenter.