O-negative blood shortage in Louisiana

O-negative blood shortage in Louisiana
(Source: USAF/MGN Online)
(Source: USAF/MGN Online)

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - O-negative blood is the universal donor type. But there's a shortage of it in Louisiana that has LifeShare Blood Center asking for your help.

Kevin LeJeune is a regular blood donor, coming in a few times each month.

As he sat in his lounge chair on Wednesday, watching TV, LeJeune explained why he donates.

"There's always somebody in need. It doesn't hurt so may as well come in and do it," said LeJeune.

Donor Resources Coordinate at LifeShare Blood Centers, Michael Lanham, said he's grateful for regulars like LeJeune.

"We couldn't service the patients that we service in this area in Southwest Louisiana without our regular donors," said Lanham, especially now, where all communities in Louisiana are experiencing the same shortage of o-negative blood.

"Right now we're at a one and a half day supply of o-negative. Usually coming out of a holiday weekend we see our collections drop dramatically but our usage goes up," explained Lanham.

It's a problem because they provide donor blood to the hospitals.

"We service all the hospitals in the five-parish area with the exception of Memorial so we're looking to service these hospitals and keep their supplies at a safe and adequate level," said Lanham.

To meet hospital demands, they must collect 300 units each week, on average, whether through the center or at mobile drives which accounts for 85 percent of their collection.

"It's a constant need because there's no other replacement for human blood," said Lanham.

And for those worried about contracting diseases, Lanham dispels any myths, "From the needle all the way to the bag is all one self contained kit. Once that material is used it's discarded and never used again."

LeJeune recommends it, "It's very simple, maybe takes an hour and a half out of your time and you're doing something good for other people."

For information on how and where to donate blood, plasma or platelet's, visit: http://www.lifeshare.org/news-a-events

Mobile Blood Drives Monday, Sept. 9 through Sunday, Sept. 15:



Monday, Sept. 9:

Coushatta Casino Resort 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. Donor Coach

(Behind Casino in gravel parking lot by 80R1)

Walmart – DeRidder 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. Donor Coach

Walmart – Sulphur 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. Donor Coach

Tuesday, Sept. 10:

Coushatta Casino Resort 1 pm – 6 pm Donor Coach

(Behind Casino in gravel parking lot by 80R1)

E.Beauregard High School 9 am – 2 pm Auditorium

Wednesday, Sept. 11:

First Baptist Church 4:15 p.m. – 7:45 p.m. Donor Coach

(401 South Huntington, Sulphur)

Christus St. Patrick Hospital 11 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. 3rd floor South Atrium

Thursday, September 12:

DeQuincy Memorial Hospital 1:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Cafeteria

Women & Childrens Hospital 12 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. First Floor Classroom

Friday, Sept. 13:

Hamilton Christian Academy 9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Choir Room

Episcopal Day School 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Donor Coach

Walmart Jennings 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. Donor Coach

Saturday, Sept. 14:

Prien Lake Mall 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. In front of Sears

Walmart – Hwy 14 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Donor Coach

Sunday, Sept. 15:

Our Lady of Prompt Succor 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Fellowship Hall

(1109 Cypress, Sulphur)

First United Methodist Church 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Donor Coach

(812 Kirkman, Lake Charles)

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