LAFAYETTE, LA (KADN) - Throughout the pandemic hospitals have faced challenges collecting blood for patients from blood drives and are now in critical need of blood donors.
As many return to in-person workplaces and schools amid the pandemic blood centers are facing emergency blood and platelet shortage.
Stephanie Kizziar says "It is an urgent need especially type o because that is the universal blood type that's the one that emergency personnel will reach for in case of an emergency there's not enough time to determine a patient's blood type there going to receive o negative blood".
Matthew Desormeaux has the universal blood type "My blood type is o negative" he says since his blood type is the most useful he wants to be of service to the community in any way he can.
"Especially right now with a lot of people in the hospital blood needed so anybody that can should donate if they can and I'm eligible and have a good blood type so I do it as often as I can".
Donor turnout has reached the lowest levels of the year, decreasing by about 10% since August. those who are eligible to donate are urged to do so now to help overcome this current shortage.
Stephanie Kizziar says "If you look at the shelves right now in the back there pretty low and so we don't want there to ever be a situation where there isn't the blood available for a person who needs it so it's really important the only way we can get blood is through our volunteer donors".
One blood donation can potentially save up to three lives including those with cancer.
Statistics show more than 1.8 million people are expected to be diagnosed with cancer as many of them will need blood, sometimes daily, during their chemotherapy treatment.
Vitalant is hosting a blood drive on Monday, January 3rd from 7 am to 6 pm appointments can be scheduled online.