Blood centers in Southwest Florida say they’re facing a critical shortage. They say it’s even more worrisome heading into the July 4th holiday next week. Blood centers like to have a 3-to-5 day supply on-hand. Right now, some facilities in Lee and Charlotte Counties have less than a 12-hour supply. Medical managers say they’re concerned because fewer people donate in the summer. It’s complicated around holidays because there’s a much greater need due to car accidents. Ruth Wilburn is a donor coordinator with Florida’s Blood Centers in Fort Myers.
“There is nothing in this world that’s going to replace human blood. We can’t manufacture it and it has a limited life and that you can change somebody’s life by donating. And you can save three people by simply giving less than hour of your time.”
Wilburn spoke on Gulf Coast Live. She says blood has a shelf life of 42 days and someone can donate about once every two months.
Florida’s blood centers have issued an urgent plea for all types of blood. It’s only the second time this year, they’ve found their inventories so low. Fort Myers Blood Donor coordinator Ruth Wilburn says they’re especially concerned because next week is July 4th. The holidays are some of their busiest times because of a spike in car accidents. Speaking on W-G-C-U’s Gulf Coast Live, Wilburn said donating is ‘a badge of honor’.
“You realize that you have made a commitment that is not just good –but it is life-changing, it is life-altering. And once you start doing it and make a commitment to the process, it becomes part of your life. It’s something that every 56 days you just do and you know you’re going to do it.”
Wilburn says 60-percent of U-S residents will need some extra blood at some point in their lives... but just FIVE-percent actually donate.
Tuesday, 27 June 2006 01:00