Blood donation centers on Florida’s East Coast resumed operations after the threat of Hurricane Matthew forced them to close their doors and halt donations.
As residents in the region prepared for the impact of the storm, hospitals and blood banks also prepared by ensuring that blood provisions were available.
“On a daily basis, blood is used in so many different ways to save lives,” said Dan Ebert, donor and community director at OneBlood.
While blood banks on the East Coast were closed, residents of the West Coast of Florida were encouraged to go out and donate in order to boost the blood supply. However, that would not be enough.
For the four days that donation centers were closed, thousands of possible blood donations from the East Coast were lost. Additionally, not enough people in the unaffected areas stepped up to give.
After the storm passed, the supply of blood, plasma, and platelets was critically low. Organizations like OneBlood have again asked people to go out and donate.
Frequent donors like Angeline Diamond understand the importance of donating blood.
“I’ve had plenty of family that been in car accidents and need blood. So I donate whenever I can just to help the community,” says Diamond.
For others, donating is a matter of their own health.
“When you donate you receive a wellness checkup,” explains Ebert.
The free wellness checkup includes a blood pressure test and cholesterol screening, which are valuable in accessing a donor’s health.
OneBlood and the Red Cross will be conducting blood drives all week long in order to replenish the blood supply.
For more information regarding donations, visit OneBlood online.