SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Bossier City resident Catherine Giffin is currently battling a relapse of leukemia. Just this week, she needed a platelet transfusion.
Platelets are blood products that cause blood to clot.
"Over the past 2 and a half years, I couldn't even count the times I've had platelets. Probably at least a dozen times," she said.
For Catherine and husband Jeffrey, waiting even a few hours can be stressful.
"If the platelet count drops low enough, she could hemorrhage and bleed to death."
Teresa Sanders, Regional Director of LifeShare, says there's always a need in our community for not just platelets but all blood products and all types. They need about 150 donors a day just to keep up with patient demands.
"Platelets, plasma, blood cells, all of it is just as important and needed on a daily basis," said Sanders.
That's especially true in the summertime when donors tend to drop.
"Summertime is a lower time for donation. A lot of people going on vacation. A lot is going on. People are busy," she explained.
Donations are critical to preventing a shortage of any blood product.
"We haven't made it to that point, but we want to avoid that, so we need that regular basis of donations to keep that supply up."
For instance, a platelet donation has a shelf life of only 5 days. Having platelet donors come into centers every day is a matter of life or death for someone like Catherine.
"You never know when it's going to happen to one of your own family members or yourself and you'd want people out there helping you," said Giffin.
Thursday, June 14, is World Blood Donor Day. If you would like to donate blood or blood products, you can visit LifeShare centers in Shreveport, Bossier City, and Texarkana.
Next week, KSLA News 12 is teaming up with LifeShare for the annual "United We Give Blood Drive."