Lake area blood shortage impacts local hospitals

Published: May. 29, 2019 at 7:16 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - There’s a severe blood shortage right now in the Lake Area and it could impact patients needing immediate attention at local hospitals.

Daniel Fruge, a clinical lab scientist at Christus Ochsner Health Southwestern Louisiana says it’s critical to donate.

“O negative is the blood type that we need the most because it’s the universal donor,” Fruge said.

The blood shortage could have the most impact on patients who are in need of immediate assistance.

"We may get to the point where we have to give them non-specific blood, not the correct type of blood, not the best choice they need,” Fruge said.

If a blood type is out, in severe cases the physician and pathologist will decide on an alternate blood type, but, this choice could lead to negative effects.

“It can cause immediate issues where the blood is causing a clotting within their system. It can be life threatening," Fruge said. "It could be down the road. We can activate one of the antigens for future, so when they come back and need blood again in the future we run into a problem with them having antibodies to blood.”

Fruge says it is critical to donate.

“I think a lot of people don’t realize that it may be them or their family member in the bed the next day that need the blood," Fruge said. "We’re asked to donate money wise all the time and this is something that isn’t money, it’s something that you have in your body that you can give.”

Fruge says times have changed and many who think they’re unable to donate are able to. If you’re unsure or have any questions drop by your local donation center for answers.

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