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Blood Supply, Platelets at “Crisis Level”

  • Category: News
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Baton Rouge General

BATON ROUGE, La. -- Winter storms have brought not only icy road conditions and freezing temperatures but major blood shortages, including platelet supplies. LifeShare’s main distribution hub in Shreveport is still dealing with severe winter weather, unable to deliver platelets. Platelet requests are run through the Mayor’s Office of Emergency Preparedness and Homeland Security, and today BRPD answered the call with a helicopter that’s better equipped to fly in winter weather.

This afternoon, the BRPD helicopter arrived at Baton Rouge General after a trip to Shreveport to pick up platelets, which are desperately needed for surgeries. Photos and video to download here. In the worst platelet shortage in 25 years, another round of platelets arrived from Orlando via helicopter before daybreak today.

Blood centers have already seen a downward trend in donations during the pandemic, and local hospitals continue to feel the strain, currently experiencing “crisis level” blood shortages. A healthy blood supply is critical for our providers to perform important surgeries.

Here are a couple of easy ways you can help:

  • Donate at a blood drive at one of BRG’s three campuses. All donors will receive a free antibody test, t-shirt and a meal ticket to the cafeteria and Java General coffee shop
    • Bluebonnet - Friday, Feb. 19, 8 am-4 pm. Near Entrance 3, in the cafeteria.
    • Bluebonnet - Saturday, Feb. 20, 9 am – 3 pm. Buses outside of Entrance 3
    • Mid City – Sunday, Feb. 21, 9 am – 3 pm. Conference Rooms
    • Bluebonnet – Monday, Feb. 22, 6 am – 12 pm. Conference Rooms
    • Ascension – Tuesday, Feb. 23, 9 am – 3 pm
    • Bluebonnet – Wednesday, Feb. 24, 12 pm – 6 pm. Conference Rooms
    • Ascension – Thursday, Feb. 25, 9 am – 3 pm
    • Mid City – Friday, Feb. 26, 10 am – 4 pm. Conference Rooms
  • Donate at another upcoming blood drive, from Gerry Lane Cadillac to Walmart in Zachary
  • Donate at LifeShare at any time (5745 Essen Ln.) All donors will receive a free antibody test.

About Baton Rouge General Medical Center
Baton Rouge General Medical Center is the area’s first community hospital with over 600 licensed beds between three campuses. Baton Rouge General opened its doors in 1900, and has provided the Greater Baton Rouge community with high-quality healthcare for generations. An accredited teaching hospital since 1991, Baton Rouge General is affiliated with several medical school programs, and offers other medical education programs, including a School of Nursing, School of Radiologic Technology, Family Medicine Residency Program, Internal Medicine Residency Program, and Sports Medicine Fellowship Program. For more information, visit, find us on Facebook at and follow us on Twitter @BRGeneral and Instagram @batonrougegeneral.