SWFL blood banks face summer shortages

Right now, blood centers across Southwest Florida are in need of blood donors.

One Blood, Florida’s largest blood bank, says they are especially low on Type O blood. Being low means they aren’t within their safety net of having a five-day backup supply of each blood type.

“I could only imagine if my little baby needed blood how important that I would want somebody to help my baby if I needed it,” says donor Anthony Calderone, “It works me up even thinking about it.”

Calderone says it’s in his blood to help out – literally.

“It just means a lot for me to do it.”

Calderone has a rare blood type, one that can help anyone, even babies. And being a father, that hits close to home. He wants to give back.

“Part of the reason I work for the sheriff’s office is I like helping the community,” he said.

And now might be a good time to do it. Not only are blood centers low on blood, but they have a higher for donations need this time of year.

“It is a national historical statistic that during July and August, blood donations tend to take a dip,” said Sheila Phillips, Community Blood Center.

People taking vacations is one factor and severe weather is another.

“We know any time there’s some type of natural event like a hurricane, we’re going to have disruptions,” said Phillips.

Because people evacuate and focus on preparing their homes, they don’t make it to blood banks. So thinking ahead and donating now helps banks avoid summer shortages.

If you or someone you know is interested in donating blood, you can view requirements and locations here. 

Reporter:Hannah Vogel
Writer:Emily Luft
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