Anyone eligible to give blood is encouraged to donate as soon as possible in preparation for the impact of Tropical Storm Isaac. After the storm makes landfall, the ability to donate and collect blood becomes much more difficult and typically results in a significant drop in donations. The difficulty is due to such factors as donor availability, transportation issues, and damage and flooding to blood centers and nearby areas. Because of this, donations must increase now to continue an adequate blood supply during and after the storm.
Blood and blood components are not available for patient use for at least 24 hours after donation. Donors must give in advance of a natural disaster to have the blood available for utilization when the disaster hits.
“Just as we make preparations for our home and our family’s survival, we must help the community prepare for medical necessities—including a stable blood supply. Donors need to come in early this week because it takes one to two days to test the blood and make it available to medical facilities. There are a number of reasons patients need blood. When a disaster hits those needs go up and donations go down. As a community, we must work together to avert additional complications of such disasters by donating blood in advance,” says Tina Hooper, Director of Communications for LifeShare Blood Centers.
Go to www.lifeshare.org for a list of donation centers and blood drives, or call 800.256.4483 for additional information.
LifeShare Blood Centers regularly supplies blood components to 117 medical facilities throughout Louisiana, East Texas and South Arkansas. Founded in Shreveport, La. in 1942, it is a nonprofit community service provider governed by a volunteer Board of Trustees. LifeShare is a member of America’s Blood Centers and the American Rare Donor Program, is licensed by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration and accredited by AABB.