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SunCoast Blood Centers joins national blood donation network in response to mass trauma events

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Posted at 3:34 PM, Dec 01, 2021

BRADENTON, Fla. — SunCoast Blood Centers is teaming up with 16 other blood centers across the United States to form a new Blood Emergency Readiness Corps (BERC).

This comes in response to several mass trauma events across the country just in the last month, and they're hoping it will help blood centers and blood donors be more proactive when it comes to giving blood.

“Every single blood center is struggling across the country,” said John Hall, Chief Operating Officer for SunCoast Blood Centers.

The blood shortage is another big reason SunCoast Blood Centers joined BERC. They're serving as the Florida partner when it comes to responding to mass trauma events in the United States.

“Yesterday's deadly mass shooting at the Michigan high school, along with the tragedy at the weekend holiday parade in Wisconsin, and that concert last month in Houston, highlight the need for a national blood emergency response network,” said Steve Malave, Director of Community Relations for SunCoast Blood Centers.

The network was already activated Wednesday, in response to the school shooting in Michigan.

It's a total of 16 partner blood banks across the country, coming to the aid of those who need it at that moment, and they're hoping the network will continue to grow.

“Our turn begins next week. So basically every 3 weeks, we’re gonna be taking part in this,” said Malave.

Because of this, they're going to need even more donors.

“We don’t have enough blood supply in this community, we need it every single day, people come and refresh. Blood only lasts for 42 days, platelets last for 5 days. That doesn’t include the testing time that we have to wait for,” said Hall.

Hall says that while people are great about donating in response to mass trauma events, we need to be more proactive, and donate before those things happen.

And the hope is that by joining the network, the team of blood banks can come to Florida's aid, should we ever need it.

SunCoast Blood Centers say hospitals are especially in need of O-type blood.

If you'd like to donate blood or platelets to the SunCoast Blood Centers, call 1-866-972-5663 or click here.