LAFAYETTE, La. (June 28, 2021) — Vitalant, which supplies donated blood to 23 hospitals in 21 Louisiana parishes—announced that it has a critical blood shortage. One way to combat the shortage here in Lafayette is to make an appointment to donate blood at the 16th Annual Race Against the Clock Blood Drive on July 8th and 9th at the new WestLine Event Center in Scott.
The annual Race Against the Clock blood drive will be held at a new location for the first time in its sixteen-year history. The WestLine Event Center, a Legend’s venue, is located at 325 Apollo Road, Scott, La. 70583. Blood drive hours are as follows:
July 8: 7am-7pm
July 9: 7am-4pm For more information and to sign up for an appointment, visit www.vitalant.org/raceagainsttheclock.
Appointments encouraged, incentives included
In order to ensure your spot and make the best use of your time, appointments are strongly encouraged. Make yours at www.vitalant.org/raceagainsttheclock or call 877-25-VITAL and mention Race Against the Clock. All participating donors will be entered to win one of three Geaux Local gift packages, a 1-year membership to hampr and $100 in laundry credit, a Pandora bracelet and charm, or a Kendra Scott jewelry set. Plus, all donors will receive a Vitalant T-shirt and coupons from McDonald’s, Chick-fil-A and Walk-On’s Sports Bistreaux. DJs from Townsquare Media will be broadcasting live from the event as well.
Blood donations are down while the need has rebounded
With communities re-opening from the pandemic, travel resuming and patients seeking previously postponed medical care, Vitalant has less than a needed four-day supply of most blood types to meet patient needs at a moment’s notice. Type O blood is below a two-day supply. Type O is what’s often used in trauma situations, especially type O negative, because it can be transfused to patients with any blood type in an emergency room setting.
Blood donations fell more than 4,000 short of the need in May, while the need for blood has increased. Blood drive cancellations forced by COVID-19 challenges continue to affect donation rates. In fact, anticipated uncollected donations from business-hosted blood drive cancellations reached a four-month high of more than 6,200 blood donations in June.
“That’s why it’s so important to patient care for generous donors to make an appointment now to give in the coming days or weeks at a donation center or another community blood drive,” said Cliff Numark, Vitalant’s senior vice president of donor services and chief of marketing.
“A drop in donations over any period of time is concerning, but especially right now when the supply is already low,” said Ralph Vassallo, MD, Vitalant’s chief medical and scientific officer. “Blood and platelet donations are needed now and throughout the summer to prevent delays in lifesaving patient care.”
First-time donors can get sneak peek of their blood type
New donors play a critical role in supporting the blood supply. First-time donors can get a glimpse at their blood type immediately when they come to donate with Vitalant. Lab confirmation of blood type results and other useful health information is available about a week after donation in the donor’s online account.