Amanda Landers

Vitalant Blood Services regional director Amanda Landers (left) spoke with Jan Swift of the Discover Lafayette podcast. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a significant drop in blood donations in south Louisiana, Vitalant regional director Amanda Landers said.

Speaking with Jan Swift of the Discover Lafayette podcast, Landers noted there will be up to 14,000 fewer red blood cell pints this year than in previous years. In Acadiana, the need is usually at 56,000 pints is often not met as the agency usually nets around 34,000, she said.

You can listen to their conversation here.

The pandemic has resulted in 4,000 scheduled blood drives being cancelled in March and April, she said, that would have netted 80,000 pints. Locally about 260 were cancelled as part of the 2,000 nationwide.

Compounding the drop in blood donors is the demise of the local oil and gas community in south Louisiana, she said. The industry gave blood for so many years and also had the financial means to organize and mobilize the members of the community to give.

About 60% of blood is collected at mobile sites, with 40% of those donations coming from drives held at educational institutions such as elementary, middle school, high school and college campuses. Collections were down also because most campuses were shut down, Landers said.

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