NewsSarasota, Manatee County


Bradenton blood center ships supply to tornado-damaged areas

Blood bags
Posted at 11:25 PM, Dec 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-11 23:25:28-05

BRADENTON, Fla. — Lab technicians at SunCoast Blood Centers were called upon, Saturday, to provide relief to tornado-torn areas from Friday night's storms. They shipped fourteen total bags of O-positive and O-negative blood.

"We got the call overnight," Steve Malave, spokesperson for SunCoast Blood Centers, said. "They said, 'We need you guys to send some blood.'"

SunCoast Blood Centers joined the national disaster relief network Blood Emergency Readiness Corps or BERC, on December 1. This week marked the center's first on-call response to send blood wherever it is needed to whoever needs it.

“During times of an emergency whether it’s a natural disaster or a mass causality event like a shooting and so forth to be able to get blood to the scene as soon as possible," Malave said.

Friday night, 22 tornadoes touched down in parts of the Midwest, Tennessee, and Kentucky destroying miles of homes and businesses and killing dozens.

"We lost lives and there are some people fighting for their lives, right now, and to know that we’re able to help out, that’s what it’s all about," Malave said.

Malave said the task force, including 29 total blood centers from across the country, was formed in response to more mass casualty disasters and a nationwide blood supply shortage. He said their work and the willingness of donors is needed now more than ever.

“If you want to help save lives, not only in this area, consider being part of this blood force," Malave said.

If you are interested in giving blood, visit the SunCoast Blood Centers website to find out where you can donate.