Sarasota, FL- There is a severe shortage of blood in the community due to the cancellation of blood drives in response to the coronavirus outbreak. SunCoast Blood Centers is asking healthy donors, age 16 and over to donate now. Having an adequate supply of blood products on the shelves for local hospitals is vital every day, and especially during a time when our community’s medical resources are operating at full capacity.
Appointments are encouraged, but walk ins are welcome. Individuals can schedule an appointment to give blood at any SunCoast donor center or bloodmobile by visiting suncoastblood.org or calling 1.866.97.BLOOD. For a complete list of bloodmobile and donor center locations and hours please visit the website.
Due to concerns about gathering at usual blood drive locations such as shopping centers, businesses and community events more than 100 blood drives in the area served by SunCoast have been cancelled. This equates to a loss of more than 1,000 units of blood. “As the pandemic unfolds, this situation is likely to get much worse. Just as we stock up for a hurricane, we must prepare now to have the resources for our medical professionals serving on the front lines. Patients will still require blood transfusions for cancer treatments, traumas and necessary surgeries in the coming weeks,” said Jayne Giroux, director of community development for SunCoast.
In addition, people are concerned about coming to SunCoast donor centers. “We want to assure those who wish to donate that our centers and bloodmobiles are going above and beyond the standard FDA - mandated safety protocols. Our facilities are probably the safest places you can be right now,” said Giroux.
There is no data that this coronavirus can be transmitted by blood transfusion, and there have been no reported cases of transfusion transmission for any respiratory virus including this coronavirus worldwide.
For the latest information about bloodmobile and donor center locations and hours please visit suncoastblood.org.
Safety precautions include:
About SunCoast Blood CentersA registered 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, SunCoast Blood Centers has provided a reliable supply of safe blood products and services for our community since 1949. SunCoast is the exclusive supplier of blood products and services for Sarasota Memorial Healthcare System, Doctors Hospital of Sarasota, Manatee Memorial Hospital, Lakewood Ranch Medical Center, Complex Care Hospital of Ridgelake, Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Sarasota, North Port Emergency Room, Fawcett Memorial Hospital of Port Charlotte, Englewood Community Hospital and DeSoto Memorial Hospital. SunCoast also partners with Moffitt Cancer Center to provide blood products including pathogen reduced platelets. Recognized for its outstanding service, the Sarasota Chamber of Commerce honored SunCoast as the 2017 Non-profit of the Year. SunCoast participates in cancer treatment programs, research and provides therapeutic services at the hospitals it serves. For donor locations and more information, visit www.suncoastblood.org or call 1-866-97-BLOOD.
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