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OLOL facing blood and platelet shortages, in need of donations

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BATON ROUGE - Our Lady of the Lake Hospital is facing the possibility of postponing surgeries and other medical procedures because of a drastically low blood supply.

They are making a call to the public for help.

"You know, we have seen tremendous shortages in all of our blood products," said hematologist and oncologist Dr. Vince Cataldo. "More so ever since the time of COVID."

Dr. Cataldo says the pandemic put a huge pause on collecting blood donations.

"The vast majority of our blood donations happened at social events, and when social events stop happened, the impact on our supply is tremendous," Dr. Cataldo said.

Over 50 percent of the blood transferred through the community is recruited, collected, and distributed by the hospital. However, things are different this year. According to the hospital, donations are down 22 percent since the beginning of the pandemic.

"It's our patients with leukemia and blood disorders," Dr. Cataldo said. "But we also have to remember patients that are going through surgery and patients that are victims of trauma."

Type "O" blood, the universal donor, is in high demand.

"If our patient qualifies, we can take a single unit of just our platelets as a donation to stock our supply," Dr. Cataldo said.

Our Lady of the Lake says it needs to collect at least 130 units of blood and 14 units of platelets per day to stay ahead.

"Blood is required for maintenance of life, and as we continue to suffer from tremendous reductions of our blood volume, we are putting patients' lives at risk," Dr. Cataldo said.

If you would like to donate, you can click here to see donation locations and times.


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