As the south finds itself in another surge of COVID-19, hospitals are in need of blood donations now more than ever. Vitalant is welcoming volunteer donors into the center in Lafayette, with rigorous safety precautions in place.
"Just this month, we've already lost over 230 units of blood due to canceled blood drives and missed appointments," said Julie Eaton, Regional Director. "We are following all of the directives from the CDC to ensure that our donors and staff remain safe and healthy."
The blood already on the shelf that helps save lives during disasters and everyday emergencies, according to Vitalant. The Delta variant has forced Vitalant to cancel blood drives in affected areas, and with hurricane season next on the list, it's crucial to keep the donations coming. Donors in unaffected areas can help patients in their community or across the country as Vitalant's distribution networks helps ensure blood is available when and where it's needed most.
The need for type O blood is especially urgent. Type O is the most transfused blood type. O-negative is what emergency room personnel reach for when there is not time to determine a patient's blood type. Platelet donations are critically needed. Platelets must be transfused within a week of donation and are used to help cancer patients, organ transplant patients, people who have open-heart surgery and to those with blood disorders.
New donors are also vital to meeting patient needs. First-time donors with Vitalant can now get a glimpse at their blood type immediately when they donate. Lab confirmation of blood type results and other useful health information is available about a week after donation in the donor's online account.
To learn more and schedule an appointment to donate, please visit vitalant.org or call 877-25-VITAL (877-258-4825). Those who received a Food and Drug Administration authorized COVID-19 vaccine can give blood immediately if other eligibility requirements are met. Vitalant follows strict protocols to ensure the safety of donors, patients, and staff, including social distancing and other precautions.
To support a safe environment and most efficiently follow the latest CDC guidance, effective Aug. 9, masks are required for all donors, staff, volunteers and guests at Vitalant blood drives and facilities regardless of vaccination status.
The Tour de Life blood drive will visit the towns of Abbeville, Breaux Bridge, Broussard, Church Point, Crowley, Delcambre, Eunice, Gueydan, Lafayette, New Iberia, Opelousas, St. Martinville, Ville Platte, and Youngsville to provide an opportunity to save lives closer to home from August 16-20, 2021. Full details and links to schedule an appointment can be found at www.vitalant.org/tour.
Vitalant is located at 1503 Bertrand Drive in Lafayette.
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