blood donation


Heading into the holiday weekend and the summer season, area blood banks are putting out the call for more donations. Supplies of both O-Negative and O-Positive blood are low across the region right now. Pat Michaels is a spokesperson for OneBlood, the blood center for Pensacola and the panhandle. "We want to make sure that we have a very strong blood supply. As you might know, blood donations may not be enough in some cases to keep up with demand. But it's our job as a blood center to make sure we have enough blood on the shelf for all of the hospitals and transfusions."

One Blood, the main provider of blood services to the Pensacola region is expanding its reach in the southeast.  Susan Forbes, the Vice president for Marketing and Communications for One Blood says they are merging with The Blood Alliance, a Jacksonville based non-profit that provides blood to more than 30 hospitals in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. The merger is complete as of July 31.

School is back in session soon and OneBlood is urging everyone to put donating blood on their back-to-school shopping list.

According to OneBlood, a transfusion is neede d about every two seconds nationwide. And spokeswoman Betty Roberts says locally, it’s been their summer of discontent.

“Traditionally in the summer blood donations decrease, and we’ve seen that,” said Roberts. “So we’re making every effort to do some ‘back to school’ blood drives to bring the level of the blood supply up to where it needs to be.”

More changes are in the works for OneBlood. The Orlando-based blood bank, which has an office in Pensacola, is entering into an agreement with The Institute for Transfusion Medicine.

Based in Pittsburgh, ITxM is a not-for-profit blood center and transfusion services organization that operates in Chicago, Virginia and parts of Ohio and West Virginia. OneBlood, serves most of Florida and parts of South Alabama and Georgia.

The need for blood never stops, even when a hurricane or tropical storm barrels through town.  That’s why OneBlood, the local blood center, is urging all donors to include blood donation as part of their hurricane preparations.