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Donations Down, Demand Up: SWFL Blood Banks Work to Get Summer Blood Donations Flowing

Photo: U.S. Air Force
An Air Force blood drive in 2016.

There's a growing need for blood in Southwest Florida during the summer months. A traditionally low point for demand in the area, blood banks say they're seeing the expected drop-off in donations every summer but no slowing of the demand.
Jeremy Puckett, the supervisor of Lee Health's Blood Center, says high schools are where blood donations routinely flow. With schools letting our for the summer, that sees an anticipated reduction in donations. Puckett joins Gulf Coast Live to explain what he calls the new trend of steady demand for blood throughout the summer months in Southwest Florida, a demand that threatens to outstrip supplies. 

With some blood products having a shelf live of just days, and the ability to donate for some blood products like platelets are often as every two weeks, Puckett and others in the blood business are urging new donors to give blood, and existing donors to become regulars.

Also joining the program is Daniel Eberts with OneBlood, an independent nonprofit that collects blood donations across Florida, detailing their upcoming drives in our area some of their unique donations methods, like double red cell donations, which allows patients to give twice the amount of red blood cells compared to a normal whole-blood donation.

Matthew Smith is a reporter and producer of WGCU’s Gulf Coast Live.