OneBlood urging local community members to donate blood due to the shortage
PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Blood donations typically go down in the summertime, because more people are taking vacations or they’re out of their normal routine.
But it’s also a time when more blood is needed.
One organization says right now there is an urgent need for blood donors, especially ones that are Type “O”.
About 37% of the U.S. population are “O+”, and about 7% are “O-” and “O-” is the universal donor.
So that’s the real reason why they’re in so high demand because those are most likely to be the type of blood that’s going to be used for transfusions, in hospitals, when there are emergencies and traumas.
It’s also used for babies, and NICUs, there are a lot of uses for it.
“Because it’s a life-saving mission. When you donate blood within 2 to 3 days that blood donation is going to be going to a patient in a hospital,” Pat Michaels, OneBlood Director of Media and Public Relations said.
Even with the need, there are some requirements people must meet.
“Basically you have to be (at least) 110 pounds, 16 years or older. 16 and 17-year-olds need permission from a parent, but there’s no upper age limit to donating blood,” Michaels said.
According to Michaels, the blood donating process is fairly simple.
“When you come in, we’ll go through a pre-check. Check and take your vitals, and you’ll have a screening to see if you’re able to donate blood. Most people are,” Michaels said.
“I started with Desert Storm, there was a need in our community because the military couldn’t donate. They had to save it for themselves. So our banks got low. So I started with blood,” Lisha Hawthorne, a OneBlood Donator said.
Alongside blood donations, Hawthorne also helps through platelet donations.
“It’s a thing I do for my community. It stays in our community and I do it for our community,” Hawthorne said.
Medical professionals can use the donated platelets to help cancer patients.
Hawthorne says she’s happy to donate to a good cause.
“I try to average every two weeks. Platelets you can do at least every two weeks. And I’m a triple donator, so I give lots of platelets,” Hawthorne said.
As a triple donor, she’s able to help 3 patients. She’s donated up to 42 gallons already.
Hawthorne says she tries to get as many people as she can to come out and donate, she even brings her granddaughter some days.
To find a donation location head over to oneblood.org or call 1-888-936-6283.
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