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Texas Blood Bank Aids Louisiana after Hurricane Ida

Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center sends blood products to help Louisiana's ongoing needs

 

(Houston, Texas) Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center- Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center has come to aid Louisiana’s local blood banks after a catastrophic hurricane made landfall earlier last week.

Hurricane Ida impacted the Louisiana coast, causing significant flooding and damage to its infrastructure. Due to the widespread destruction, Louisiana's local blood banks stopped collecting for several days, hindering their on-hand supply.

However, blood is still needed daily for their local communities and hospitals. Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center has come to aid and assist Louisiana's ongoing needs to recover from the hurricane. Blood and blood components were sent to Louisiana through their courier services and Angel Flight, a medical transport organization, including O-neg neonatal units, which were desperately needed.

“When we spoke to The Blood Center in New Orleans, they were in desperate need of neonatal units,” said Mike Duke, Manager of Operations at Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center. “We were able to quickly send the units, which will treat babies at several children’s hospitals in their area.”

Every year, summertime is challenging to ensure a robust blood supply as schools are not in session and people go on vacation or otherwise modify their regular routines. The impact of summer is a particular concern as travel resumes while schools and businesses have not all returned to normal operations. In addition, hurricane season always poses a threat. Our community must work together to increase the on-hand blood supply, so we are prepared to meet any unforeseen emergency demands. It is vital to keep at least a three-day supply of blood on the shelves at all times.

Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center needs about 1,000 blood donations a day to serve hospitals in our community. Many cancer patients need platelets while they’re undergoing chemotherapy. Others with blood diseases need transfusions regularly, and blood is also vital during surgeries and trauma patients.

Over the past year, the traditional model for collecting blood at businesses, schools, colleges, religious organizations, and civic events has been indefinitely disrupted. With more people working remotely and no longer reporting to an office building, these important community events where life-saving blood is collected have been significantly reduced. More blood donors are always needed in our community. Those who are feeling well should check giveblood.org for an available appointment. The donation process is quick, easy, and can be done at any Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center location. People who have had a COVID-19 vaccine may still donate blood. Additionally, all blood donations are tested for the COVID-19 antibody. Fully vaccinated donors are no longer required to wear face masks when donating.

Churches, businesses, and community groups can contact the blood center to host a blood drive in their community. Hosting a blood drive is free, and you can impact the lives of many. Those who are interested can go to www.giveblood.org/host-a-blood-drive to get started.

 

Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center is the sole provider of blood and blood components 24/7 to more than 170 hospitals and health care facilities in a 26-county Texas Gulf Coast region. Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center is a nonprofit organization and is accredited by the Food and Drug Administration. For more information or to help save lives, visit giveblood.org.  

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