OneBlood

Update 10/4/16 10am:

Hurricane Matthew has made landfall in western Haiti with maximum sustained winds near 145 miles an hour. The Category 4 storm has been pounding the southwestern coast of Haiti, where many people live in fragile shacks of wood and corrugated steel. 

The storm is headed toward Cuba, which is why about 700 Navy family members were evacuated Sunday from Naval Station Guantanamo Bay to Naval Air Station Pensacola. The Navy ordered the evacuation for military spouses and children at the base in Cuba on Saturday.

Florida Department of Health

  As Florida goes through its typical humid, bug-filled summer, Florida is recording its first home-grown cases of Zika. 

Governor Rick Scott says all four people live in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties. One of the cases involves a woman and the other three involve men, none of whom have needed to be hospitalized.

“The Florida Department of Health believes that active transmissions of this virus could be occurring in one small area in Miami-Dade County, just north of downtown,” said Scott. “

OneBlood.org

On Monday, Aug. 1, one of the nation's largest blood suppliers will begin testing its donations for the Zika virus.

 

OneBlood’s announcement on Thursday comes the same day that Florida health officials reported that a woman in Miami-Dade could be the state’s first Zika case who contracted the virus without traveling outside the continental United States. Later, a spokeswoman corrected the statement, saying that sexual transmission related to travel has not been ruled out.  

OneBlood/LinkedIn

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 supply of O-Negative blood is currently at extremely low levels, thanks to high usage in area hospitals.  An immediate appeal is being issued for all donors with that type to give ASAP.

O-Negative blood is the so-called “universal” blood type, meaning any patient can receive it regardless of their own blood type.  Because of that, O-negative is used extensively for trauma patients, premature babies, cancer patients and emergency surgeries.

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.”

  With summer coming up, a notoriously slow time of the year for blood centers, the firm OneBlood is asking donors to double up.

Summer is one of the periods each year, when blood donations drop to very low levels. That’s when school is out and families are on the road for vacation. Betty Roberts at OneBlood’s Pensacola office says that’s where the “2 From You” promotion comes in.

OneBlood

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and the blood service OneBlood is reminding everyone that blood donors play a major role in helping women battling the disease.

Normally, when the subject of giving blood comes up, the first thoughts for many are that the blood is for accident victims or surgical patients. But OneBlood’s Betty Roberts says blood and platelets are also used to counter the harsh effects of chemotherapy throughout their treatment.

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.