BRADENTON, Fla. — SunCoast Blood Centers is asking the community to donate blood and platelets as the country deals with a national blood shortage and to help those impacted by Hurricane Ida.
SunCoast is down to a three-day blood supply when they normally have enough for 10 days. Earlier this month, SunCoast sent out a plea for donations as they were down to just a one-day supply.
"We serve a lot of hospitals up and down the sun coast, including Moffitt. Cancer doesn't stop because of the pandemic," Joan Leonard Suncoast Blood Center's Community Liaison said. "Cancer patients therapy rely on blood products, platelets, especially so the needs are there."
SunCoast Blood Centers serves hospitals and healthcare facilities throughout Charlotte, DeSoto, Manatee, and Sarasota counties, as well as the Moffitt Cancer Center.
"During 'normal' times when a natural disaster happens in one part of the country, other blood centers send blood products to help. Hurricane Ida hit our neighbors in New Orleans when there already is a national blood shortage. While it is our mission to fulfill local needs first, we want to help when called upon," SunCoast wrote on Facebook. "SunCoast is calling all donors to help the people of New Orleans in need of the Gift of Life."
SunCoast will have a mobile unit set up outside the Moffitt Out-Patient Center at 10920 McKinley Dr. in Tampa on Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Donors aged 16 and over can also schedule an appointment to give blood at any SunCoast Blood Centers location or bloodmobile by visiting suncoastblood.org or calling 866-97-BLOOD. Walk-ins will also be welcomed. Individuals with a Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine are eligible to donate along with those who are unvaccinated.
Donors will also get a complimentary antibody test to see if they have COVID-19 antibodies in their system.