Local hospitals join LifeShare to warn community of current crisis

Published 11:54 am Wednesday, May 29, 2019

BEAUMONT, Texas — LifeShare Blood Center, with the support of several of its hospital partners, is issuing an emergency appeal.

Patient care is being severely threatened by the inadequate blood supply that the region has been experiencing for several weeks.

“Unfortunately, for many people, it is a problem you don’t realize exists unless you have a friend or family member in the hospital whose treatment is delayed or postponed because blood is not available,” says LifeShare Regional Director Brooke Hulett.

LifeShare is currently unable to fill hospital orders and is rationing blood.

“Hospitals may ask us for 20 units, but they only get 10. We can’t send what we don’t have. We consider an adequate blood supply to be about a 3-5 day supply of red blood cells. This weekend we had as little as an eight hour supply of some blood type,” says Sr. Director of Blood Operations Benjamin Prijatel.

Hospitals are echoing the concern as the crisis reaches a point where patient care is being affected.

LifeShare is asking anyone who is eligible to donate blood.

Those who can’t donate are being asked to encourage those who can to give and share information about the current crisis to their friends and family.

“Anyone in the community can help us overcome this situation, says Hulett.

Anyone at least 16 years of age, weighing at least 110 pounds and is in good health can donate blood.

Sixteen-year-olds must submit a permission form signed by a parent or guardian.

Some people may be temporarily or permanently prevented from donating blood due to certain health conditions. If you have a question about your eligibility to donate blood, contact your local LifeShare office.

The most frequently donated blood product is whole blood, which can help up to three patients with a single donation. Anyone who qualifies to give blood may be a whole blood donor, and may give one unit of blood every 56 days.

A whole blood donation process takes about 45-60 minutes, including registration, screening, and donation. The actual donation takes about 10-15 minutes.

More information about donor eligibility and upcoming blood drives can be found at LifeShare.org.