SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) -The SunCoast Blood Bank is still in need of blood and platelet donations, even though the Suncoast didn't see a direct impact from Hurricane Dorian.
The blood bank is part of an affiliation that helps out other blood banks in need. Right now, some blood banks in Florida are asking for help and the need is expected to grow as Hurricane Dorian continues up the East Coast of the United States.
SunCoast Blood Bank is looking for donations of all blood types, especially O Negative. They are also looking for platelet donations.
So far, the SunCoast Blood Bank has sent out about 15 units of platelets to the East Coast of Florida. Platelets are used for cancer treatment and only have a shelf life of about five days. Jayne Giroux, who is SunCoast Blood Bank’s Director of Community Development, said the need for donations is growing because they want to help hurricane impacted areas, but they also need to meet the everyday needs here along the Suncoast.
Giroux said people should consider donating because it is the peak of hurricane season, which means you never know if or when our area will be asking for help.
"Our CEO is constantly in contact with other CEOs and we stand ready. Blood banks stand together. We resource share and we look at it as we may be the next ones who may need those resources and we want to be sure that we reciprocate," Giroux said.
She went on to say how the demand for blood goes up during hurricane cleanup.
"One of the things that we know statistically is that a lot of the injuries occur during cleanup because you have people handling chainsaws, who have never handled chainsaws. And so a lot of the blood needs are likely to come during the clean up process, when more people are injured," Giroux said.
The Suncoast Blood Bank has not been asked to help assist in the Bahamas just yet, but Giroux said they will help if they are asked.
If you would like to help, more information about how you can donate blood or platelets can be found on SunCoast Blood Bank’s website here.