BRADENTON, Fla. (WFLA) – SunCoast Blood Centers is asking for the community’s help in donating blood to address a current shortage.
According to the blood bank, hospitals depend on the not-for-profit group for adequate blood supply for patients requiring blood transfusions with surgeries, cancer therapies, trauma, and for those battling chronic blood diseases.
“This is the lowest inventory we’ve had in a decade,” said Scott Bush, the CEO of SunCoast Blood Centers. “Only three percent of the eligible donor population are coming in to give the gift of life, which makes the shortage of product a real concern.”
SunCoast Blood Centers serves hospitals and health care facilities throughout Charlotte, DeSoto, Manatee, and Sarasota counties, as well as the Moffitt Cancer Center.
In order to keep its 14 hospitals supplied, SunCoast Blood Centers needs to collect 150 red blood cell units every day. Since May 28, the nonprofit has not had a collection day over 100 units.
“There is no substitute for blood, it has to come from one human being to another,” said SunCoast Blood Centers Community Liaison Joan Leonard. “We are urging our generous community to donate and help us get the blood supply up to a suitable level for our hospitals.”
Donors aged 16 and over can schedule an appointment to give blood at any SunCoast Blood Centers location or bloodmobile by visiting suncoastblood.org. Walk-ins will also be welcomed.
Donors who have received the COVID-19 vaccine are eligible to donate immediately after their vaccine.