SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - The LifeShare Blood Center has a “critically” low blood supply and is urgently seeking donations from the community. The situation is so dire, officials are calling it a matter of life and death.
“It’s not just the blood center needing blood, it’s the community,” said Tenille Terry, Senior Director of Marketing and Communications at LifeShare. “If something happens in the community, they turn to the blood center.”
Terry says LifeShare normally receives 400 to 500 units of blood on a daily basis. However, due to the shortage, the desperate need for blood has doubled.
“We’re about 1,000 units behind...so we still need the four to 500 units for today, but, also an additional 1,000 to get back to a normal level.”
LifeShare believes the main culprit behind the shortage is the Winter season. “You have the holidays, you have seasonal changes and donors on different medications because of illnesses or the flu or just different things,” said Terry.
KSLA News 12 spoke with Leon Taylor, a Shreveport native and a regular donor. In fact, Taylor has donated 486 times since 1950 and has saved thousands of lives.
“This is something I can do,” said Taylor. “There’s a lot of things in this world I can’t do, but I can do this and I feel like I’m doing some good for the community.”
LifeShare said each unit of blood donated saves three lives. At 87-years-old, Taylor frequently donates two pints per donation. “I’m getting old,” said Taylor. “The young people need to step up and start taking over for us old people who will soon be fading out with the ability to donate.”
Leon stated local hospitals are some of the biggest victims of this blood shortage, as LifeShare provides blood for different procedures and surgeries.
“What would be the feeling of a person if the doctor walked out of the emergency room and said, ‘If only we could’ve found some blood, we could’ve saved your relative,’”
Terry said donating is simple and normally takes less than 30 minutes.
Click here to find out here for more information on donating.