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Blood supply at lowest in 25 years amid winter storm, pandemic; BRPD delivers supplies via helicopter as roads remain icy

3 years 1 day 15 hours ago Saturday, February 20 2021 Feb 20, 2021 February 20, 2021 3:04 PM February 20, 2021 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - Extreme weather conditions have resulted in a "crisis level" blood shortage including a lack of platelet supplies that are needed for surgeries.

LifeShare’s main distribution hub in Shreveport is still dealing with severe winter weather as drivers are unable to deliver platelets on icy roads.

Platelet requests are being run through the Mayor’s Office of Emergency Preparedness and Homeland Security. On Thursday, BRPD responded to the crisis with a helicopter to transport the supply.

The BRPD helicopter landed at Baton Rouge General Thursday afternoon after a trip to Shreveport to pick up platelets, which are desperately needed for surgeries. 

Following BRPD's delivery, another round of platelets arrived from Orlando via helicopter.

BRG says this platelet shortage is the worst its seen in 25 years, though blood centers have experienced a downward trend since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak.

Local hospitals continue to feel the strain and are experiencing what BRG is calling it, "crisis level” blood shortages. 

"A healthy blood supply is critical for our providers to perform important surgeries," the hospital said Thursday evening in a statement.

BRG is encouraging those who can help to donate at a blood drive located at one of BRG's three campuses.

- Bluebonnet - Friday, Feb. 19, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. Near Entrance 3, in the cafeteria.

- Bluebonnet - Saturday, Feb. 20, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Buses outside of Entrance 3

- Mid City – Sunday, Feb. 21, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Conference Rooms

- Bluebonnet – Monday, Feb. 22, 6 a.m. – 12 p.m. Conference Rooms

- Ascension – Tuesday, Feb. 23, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

- Bluebonnet – Wednesday, Feb. 24, 12 p.m. – 6 p.m. Conference Rooms

- Ascension – Thursday, Feb. 25, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

- Mid City – Friday, Feb. 26, 10 a.m. –  4 p.m. Conference Rooms

Donors will receive a free antibody test, t-shirt, and a meal ticket to the cafeteria and Java General coffee shop.

Donations are accepted at LifeShare any time (5745 Essen Ln.) All donors will receive a free antibody test.

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