Your help is needed to give the gift of life this Easter weekend. Lifeshare Blood Centers is making an urgent appeal for blood donors. That's because there's a patient being treated in the Shreveport-Bossier area who is using a large amount of blood.
Because of privacy laws, Lifeshare cannot reveal the personal story currently unfolding with the patient needing all that blood. But they do tell us that their supply of O-Negative blood is all-but gone. And they need donors fast, before anyone else needs it, too.
With just one unit of O-Negative blood left on Lifeshare Blood Centers' refrigerator shelves during our visit Friday morning, there was a palpable sense of concern. Libby Murphy with Lifeshare impressed upon us, "we've got to replenish the supply. It is simply a community health issue!"
And the timing of the shortage only exacerbates the problem. Murphy explained, "it's the Easter holiday. People are on holiday, they're travelling. There will be increased vehicle accidents." And it's those accidents which can drain the blood supply far faster than the general public may realize.
"A car accident can utilize 50-units or more of blood. We have a survivor who used 317 units of blood for one car accident," continued Murphy. Libby and fellow colleague Colleen Murphy even showed us that survivor's picture proudly displayed along the halls of Lifeshare blood Centers' headquarters along Linwood Avenue in south Shreveport.
Donors bring in about 700-units of blood a week. But we're told the actual demand for blood locally runs about 33-hundred units a month, which often leads to shortages and calls for blood donors. Margie Lacour a blood donor from Keithville said the public needs to know, "don't wait 'til someone's really in-need because there's always someone that's in desperate need. And I do it for our family. I do it for the other people that really need it."
But, Lifeshare officials say only an estimated 5-percent of people eligible to give blood actually do so. Maybe that's why, among other reasons, Converse High School Principal Larry Patrick became a regular donor and advocate. "Try to get all of our students to do that at school and become a part of giving something back," said Patrick, as he gave his donation.
There's also a two-day turnaround between the actual blood donation... And it being used for a patient. So they need donations fast. Lifeshare officials say they've even asked local pastors to ask their congregations to give blood on Monday.