Southwest Louisiana feeling the effects of national blood donation shortage

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Published: Sep. 13, 2023 at 5:57 AM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - The U.S. is once again facing a shortage that could prove critical for those working to save lives. The National Red Cross has announced that blood supplies have dropped nearly 25% in a month and Southwest Louisiana is already feeling the impact.

Local blood centers like Life Share say this has been a slow donation season, at a moment when the need for blood is high and the supply is low.

Recent natural disasters like Hurricane Idalia have strained supplies and all blood types are critically needed. There is also an emergency need for platelet donors and those with type-O blood.

Misti Vidrine works at Life Share in Lake Charles and says that the supply they have now is critically low and that they are constantly pulling from what they have for hospitals so it is important to continue to bring more donations in.

“The shortage is affecting us by not having enough blood supply on our shelves, in case we have surgeries or trauma incidents happen in Southwest Louisiana” said Vidrine.

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“We have less than a 1 day supply of some blood types,” said Vidrine. “We really need people to come out and donate it’s not just cancer patients, it’s surgery, it’s accidents, things like that. Things that are going to just come up out of the blue that we’re not aware of.”

Vidrine said that donations usually increase once summer ends and school goes back into session but they have yet to see that increase this year. Worse, they’re also finding it difficult to schedule blood drives with businesses, churches, and even schools.

If you are a school, business, or church that would like to help schedule a blood drive, you can email LifeShare at

For those who would like to donate, no appointment is needed. LifeShare in Lake Charles is located at 214 Dr. Michael Debakey Drive and is open Monday through Saturday.