Local hospital experiencing critical blood shortage and in need of donors

BATON ROUGE– Health officials at the Our Lady of the Lake Blood Center say they are dealing with a concerning blood shortage of O-positive and O-negative blood and all types of platelets.

“The platelets are the more severe shortage,” said one OLOL representative.

Platelets are small cell fragments in our blood that form clots and stop or prevent bleeding. They are made in the bone marrow, according to the Red Cross.

Platelets control bleeding in the human body, so they can be essential to surviving surgeries such as organ transplants, as well as fighting cancer and other traumatic injuries.

It takes about 10 minutes to collect blood and it takes closer to two hours to collect platelets.

In a platelet-only donation, blood is drawn from your arm into a machine. The platelets are separated from the other blood components, which are returned through your other arm. The cycle is repeated several times and during the process, one donor can contribute the equivalent of close to five blood donations.

The blood donor center is located at 5000 Hennessy Boulevard on the first floor near CC’s Coffee. It is open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Donors will receive a free T-shirt and refreshments.

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