Blood shortage spurs rationing, threatens patient care in Southern hospitals

LifeShare Blood Center, a major blood supplier to hospitals in Louisiana, eastern Texas and southern Arkansas, is rationing blood.

After operating at critically low blood supply levels for several weeks, LifeShare is now unable to fill hospital orders.

"Hospitals may ask us for 20 units, but they only get 10. We can't send what we don't have," Senior Director of Blood Operations for LifeShare Benjamin Prijatel said in a news release.

The blood center said patient care is now being severely threatened by the inadequate blood supply.

"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,”  LifeShare Regional Director Bobby Carney said in a news release.

LifeShare issued an emergency appeal, asking any eligible donors to give blood.

Willis-Knighton Health System in Shreveport, La., is echoing the concern as inadequate blood supply begins to hinder patient care.

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