LifeShare Blood Center is calling on the local community to help alleviate a blood supply crisis this week.
With only a two-day supply on hand, Shawn Melancon, Director of LifeShare Blood Services in Lake Charles, is asking for the public’s help.
“If you can give blood and if you can get to us, please do so,” Melancon said. “We usually dip to low supplies in the summer time, but right now we are critically low.”
Melancon attributes to the shortage to low donation numbers during peak summer vacation months.
There is only enough blood product on hand to handle two days of emergency level events. That doesn’t include the usual need for patients who endure blood disorders, undergoing cancer treatments or any emergency situation such as childbirth.
“It doesn’t matter what blood type you are, we can use it,” Melancon said. “We hold several blood drives just about on a daily basis, and of course if you can get to our center, we can take blood there too.”
“No one has a guarantee they will make it home safe and healthy each day. Medical emergencies and accidents happen far too often, and many of us just expect blood to be there for us and our loved ones.
“A low blood supply is a serious concern since blood can’t be manufactured — someone choosing to donate is the only source. Enough people must willingly donate before the patient needs it, or the outcome can be devastating,” said Tina Martinez, Executive Director of Marketing and Communications, LifeShare Blood Center, in a press release this week.
LifeShare will be on hand Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the West Cal Events Center in Sulphur during the Vintage Market Days Festival. On Monday, the LifeShare bus will be at Misse’s Grocery in Sulphur from 4-6 p.m., while also holding drives at Walmart on Cities Service Highway in Sulphur from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m., and at the Market Basket in Vinton on Hwy. 90 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
On Tuesday, the LifeShare bus will be at the Railroad Museum in DeQuincy from 2-5 p.m., as well as at 5-8 p.m. for the Cuffs and Hoses Blood Drive, DeQuincy Police Department vs. the DeQuincy Fire Department.
According to Melancon, the shortage is not isolated in Southwest Louisiana. There is also a shortage of blood products in all of Louisiana and nationwide.
“Blood products are used for so many life saving procedures,” Melancon said. “If you need any information, all you have to do is contact our office.”
The LifeShare Blood Center is located at 214 Dr. Michael DeBakey Drive in Lake Charles. You can reach them by calling 337-436-4932.