Tampa Bay area experiencing summer blood shortage

10:28 AM, Jul 11, 2012   |    comments
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St. Petersburg, Florida -- Florida Blood Services needs your blood!

FBS typically sees a blood shortage during the summer months because regular donors like high school students and others are not donating.

"If you are donating whole blood it only takes a couple of minutes. If you're donating platelets it's a couple of hours...it's not a big deal," said Tom Pearce, who recently reached the 28 gallon mark. 

If you factor in the recent storms and flooding, along with the summer shortage of donors, FBS says they are now down to about a two day supply when they want to be at five days.

An estimated 39 percent of the population can donate, but FBS says only 5-10 percent do.

"It gives somebody another chance and that's what it's all about, there's no greater gift than that you give to another human being and that is what these folks are doing in here today," said J.B. Gaskins, Regional Vice-President of One Blood, which is part of FBS.

Right now, the Tampa Bay area is experiencing a shortage in O negative, B negative and O positive.

When you donate, you are not only saving lives, you are also benefiting yourself.

"There's a very good likelihood they can contribute, by just coming in they get their blood type, their cholesterol and a good mini physical to boot to help their peace of mind as well," said Gaskins.

Donor, Suzette Burns not only recently reached the six gallon mark, she also learned today her blood type is best for babies because of her strong immune system.

"It's one way I can go and do something for other people, I don't have a lot of time to go out and volunteer in the community, so this is one way I can do that," said Burns.

To find out how you can donate, CLICK HERE.

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