Critical need for O-negative blood donors on the Suncoast

Critical shortage of O- blood

SARASOTA (WWSB) - A rash of medical emergencies and critical car crashes have caused a critical shortage of blood on the Suncoast, so our local blood bank needs help.

Staff said they typically see an increase in need around this time anyways, it’s the peak of season and there’s a significant number of visitors here on the Suncoast.

But what’s abnormal is how much blood has been needed for people involved in serious car collisions.

One patient recently needed 59 units of blood alone.

Staff are asking for people with O-negative blood type to donate because it’s the universal blood that doctors will give someone in the emergency room who needs a transfusion immediately.

They also added that they would usually ask for help from their blood bank partners across the country, but because of the weather and snow storms elsewhere, those banks are seeing a critical need too.

“We’ve had traumas that have needed as much as 175 units of blood so we just, we have to be prepared," said Jayne Giroux with the Suncoast Blood Bank. "Our goal is to keep three days worth of blood on our hospital shelves at all times and over the weekend, we were down to less than a day’s worth.”

The blood bank has centers in Sarasota, Venice, Bradenton and Lakewood Ranch.

If those locations aren’t close by, donors can also choose from eight bloodmobiles around town too.

For more information, click here.

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