SHREVEPORT, La. – LifeShare Blood Center is sending 320 blood products to Pensacola, Fla., Thursday morning in response to the blood shortage caused by Hurricane Ian.
Blood centers across Florida have closed ahead of the storm, but thousands in the state will need blood transfusions in the coming days.
This commitment is on top of the 40 units LifeShare sent to Sarasota, Fla., on Tuesday. These units were available after LifeShare carefully considered their available inventory and the critical need in Florida.
“We are so grateful to the thousands of donors who gave blood in September,” said LifeShare Executive Director Benjamin Prijatel. “Because of those donors, we have the blood we need for our local hospitals and some to share with our neighbors in Florida.”
Severe weather is no stranger to LifeShare, which serves hospitals along the Gulf Coast in Texas, Louisiana and Southern Arkansas.
“LifeShare owes a lot to blood donors in other states who responded following Hurricanes Laura and Ida as well as the historic 2021 winter storm. We are proud that we are now able to pay it forward,” Prijatel said.
The 360 units committed thus far equates to about an entire day’s collections for LifeShare. While this is a significant amount of blood, it represents only about 20% of the blood that officials in Florida have requested. LifeShare is asking others to consider donating this week so that more blood products can be transferred to Florida hospitals.
“We can’t send blood that we don’t have, and our hospitals come first. We have to make sure our patients are taken care of before we can consider helping others,” said Prijatel.
Most LifeShare Donor Centers are open Monday through Saturday. Mobile drives will also be deployed to several communities.
To see a list of drive times and locations, and to make an appointment, go to LifeShare.org.
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