MLS, LifeShare collaborate for critical blood drive

Chloe Chapel

Every two seconds in the U.S. someone needs a blood or platelet transfusion, according to Red Cross. 

On average, blood transfusions are approximately three units, or three pints. However, when people donate blood, they can only donate one to two pints of blood, according to Red Cross. 

If people regularly donate blood, blood centers can keep up with transfusion demands. 

The past two years have been rough for many blood centers because of a decrease in donations caused by the pandemic. 

This has caused many blood centers to have critical blood shortages. 

The demand for blood and blood products is high, and the inventory is low, according to LifeShare blood center.

Red Cross said the blood shortage is partially caused by a 62% drop in college and high school blood drives, which is due to the pandemic. 

Student donors before the pandemic accounted for about 25% of donors in 2019 but only about 10% during the pandemic.

To help with this crisis, the medical laboratory science program and LifeShare partnered for a four-day blood drive. 

The goal was to collect 25 donations each day. 

The first two days fell short with only 31 combined donations. 

Debbie Wisenor, an associate professor of medical laboratory science, encouraged students to donate by sending daily emails to educate students about the shortge and remind them when and where the LifeShare truck would be on campus. 

“There is a critical shortage of blood products in the Ouachita, Lincoln, Franklin and Madison Parish blood banks. Your donation is desperately needed to provide blood that may be required for someone in surgery, someone with anemia or sickle cell disease, someone with a bleeding disorder such as hemophilia, someone with cancer or someone who has sustained an injury,” Wisenor said. “Please, if you are able, give the gift of life.”

Daily emails worked to get students to donate. 

On the last day of the blood drive, 35 donations were collected, and they decided to extend the blood drive another day. 

“The ULM Spring Blood Drive has been extended due to a large number of Warhawks wishing to donate yesterday,” Wisenor said. 

If students weren’t able to make the blood drive on campus, they can donate at LifeShare in Monroe. 

They’re located at 2909 Kilpatrick Boulevard and are open from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.