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|LifeShare issues call for donors|
LifeShare Blood Centers called on the public to give blood, especially platelets, to ensure a plentiful community supply during possible bad weather conditions this holiday season.
LifeShare Blood Centers made the request following snowy conditions that passed through northeast Louisiana late last week.
LifeShare Blood Centers is the exclusive provider of blood for patients at 139 medical facilities throughout north Louisiana.
Phillip Thomas, donor coordinator for the local office of LifeShare Blood Centers, urged people to consider donating blood during the wintertime to help keep the local blood supply sufficient.
"Continuously maintaining enough blood for our hospitals' patients and to handle any disasters is a basic community safety issue," Thomas said.
Regarding platelets, Thomas said they are particularly fragile blood components that have a limited shelf life of only five days. Platelets are cell fragments that assist in the blood clotting function.
"Platelets are used to treat a variety of patient conditions, such as in surgery, for bleeding disorders and patients on chemotherapy, as well as burn patients," Thomas said. "We have a high cancer patient population, which translates into a higher need for platelets to help these and all patients who need this important blood component."
Traumas such as vehicle accidents and disasters are commonly thought of as the largest use of blood, but according to national statistics, the most frequent use of blood is for daily procedures such as orthopedic, cardiac and transplant surgeries and for treating illnesses such as cancers and bleeding disorders, Thomas said.
All blood types are needed. Potential platelet donors are asked to schedule an appointment with LifeShare as soon as possible. Special appointments are available for platelet donors at every LifeShare Blood Center.
Donors will receive a mini-physical prior to the donation procedure, including a check of temperature, pulse, blood pressure and iron level. Potential donors must be age 17 or older, weigh at least 110 pounds, feel well and healthy at the time of donation. Donors should eat at a good meal and increase fluid intake prior to donation.
Donors will be asked to present identification. For more information and to schedule a blood donation, call 322-4445.
The Monroe center, located at 2909 Kilpatrick Blvd., is open 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The West Monroe center, located at 207 Blanchard St., is open from noon to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.