PINELLAS COUNTY - Florida Blood Services urges people to add "donate blood" to their hurricane preparedness things to do list.
"Hundreds of patients in hospitals across the state of Florida needing platelet transfusions could be in jeopardy over the next several days as blood donations typically drop in situations like this," stated Dr. Leparc, Medical Director of Florida Blood Services.
Right now, Florida Blood Services says a need exists to increase platelet collections and work with blood centers across the country to ensure there is blood available for patients across the state. Platelets have a shelf life of five days, but it takes 48 hours to test the product to meet FDA standards leaving a three-day shelf life.
The supply must constantly be replenished. Platelets are essential for blood clotting and are routinely used to support cancer therapy, open heart surgery, blood disorders and organ transplants.
Both Charlie and Francis made an impact on platelet and whole blood collections in several areas across the state. Hundreds of donors responded to an emergency appeal for Hurricane Charlie and we thank you for your life saving efforts." stated Don Doddridge, CEO of Florida Blood Services.
Florida Blood Services is the steward of the blood supply in a four county area serving Pasco, Hillsborough, Pinellas and Manatee Counties. Seven hundred units of blood are needed daily to serve 37 hospitals and nearly 80 surgery centers.
For information on where to give platelets, call (800) 68-BLOOD.