Tuesday, February 20, 2018
News Roundup

OneBlood centers at capacity, closed for rest of Sunday

Blood banks in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties were filled to capacity on Sunday after the "unprecedented" response from donors following Orlando's mass shooting.

Hundreds of people wrapped around the OneBlood Donation centers in St. Petersburg, Clearwater and Tampa on Sunday, OneBlood spokesperson Susan Forbes said.

Additional donors were being encouraged to schedule appointments.

The Orlando hospitals' immediate blood needs were met during the Sunday donation rush, Forbes said. However, the blood supply will need to be replenished throughout the week.

Donors with O-negative, O-positive and AB blood types were urged to donate.

During traumatic events, O-negative is the most useful blood type because it can be given to all people regardless of their blood type. Many people cannot recall their types or are unable to state their blood types if they have been injured, Forbes said. When that happens, medical workers reach for O-negative bags.

Only 9 percent of the population has O-negative, according to the American Red Cross. Eligible donors should donate as often as possible, said Forbes of OneBlood, a nonprofit that supplies many Florida hospitals with blood donations.

"We can't wait for tragedy to show the need for blood donations," she said. "You don't know when, you don't know where these types of things will happen. A ready blood supply is vital."

The Clearwater center is at 1680 S Missouri Ave.

OneBlood has two St. Petersburg centers, one at 9900 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr St. N, the other at 6808 22nd Ave. N.

Tampa locations include 4041 W Kennedy Blvd., 5301 E Fletcher Ave. and 15427 N Dale Mabry Highway.

Donors can schedule appointments by calling 1-888-936-6283 or online at oneblood.org/donate-now.

Contact Hannah Alani at [email protected] or (813) 909-4617. Follow @hannahalani.

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