Lee Health is asking the community to make blood donations because its O positive blood inventory is low.
Lee Health’s blood center supervisor Jeremy Puckett says resources are depleted because more blood products are being used than the amount that’s being donated.
Blood type O is referred to as the “frontline unit” because it’s a universal blood donor, meaning it can be donated to any recipient regardless of their blood type. Lee Health says it's in need of more Rh positive type O blood right now. This is especially important for trauma victims who urgently need blood.
Lee Health supplies blood products to the Lee Memorial Hospital trauma center, the regional cancer center, Cape Coral Hospital, HealthPark Medical Center, Golisano’s Children’s Hospital and Lee Health Coconut Point.
Puckett says keeping blood product inventory levels where they need to be is critical.
"The important thing to think of is you want a ready blood supply," Puckett said. "You want the blood to be there before it’s needed. Otherwise, it is not there to save a life."
Lee Health welcomes donors of all blood types who are at least 17 years old — or 16 years old with parental permission. Donors must weigh at least 115 pounds and be in good overall health. Puckett says if a potential donor has a cold or the flu they should wait until they feel better to give blood.