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Bloodmobiles to collect donations from Cape community; Drive to be held Friday at Wal-Mart

By Staff | May 22, 2008

The Lee Memorial Health System Bloodmobiles will be at a community blood drive on Friday to collect the valuable blood that can save lives in the upcoming summer season when there are a higher number of traffic and boating accidents.

From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., the bloodmobiles will be parked at the Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market at 505 Pine Island Road to accept blood from interested donors.

“During the season we have winter residents and high school drives that help us enormously to keep the inventory up. But during the summer we rely on the community and businesses to ensure a safe and adequate blood supply,” said Nancy Hendrick, community relations coordinator for Lee Memorial Health System.

Hendrick explained that the entire process takes approximately 35 minutes and that includes the paperwork, drawing the blood and waiting a few minutes afterward before leaving. The actual draw time is only a few minutes.

“The draw time is about three to seven minutes once the needle is put in the arm,” said Hendrick. “It all depends on the person. Some people are really quick and others are slow.”

The health system’s bloodmobiles are the sole provider of blood for Cape Coral Hospital, she said. The blood that does not go to Cape Coral Hospital stays within the Lee Memorial Health System.

Each donor on Friday will receive a blood center tote bag, including a flashlight and pen, as well as a coupon for a sandwich at McDonald’s and a coupon for a Grand Slam breakfast at Denny’s. Donors also will be entered into a drawing where they can win gift certificates to local stores and parks.

In the drawing, donors can win a gift basket, a $25 gift card to Target, a $25 gift card for gas, a $25 gift card to Wal-Mart, and free visits to the Sun Splash Family Waterpark and Mike Greenwell’s Family Fun Park.

“It doesn’t take long and you save a couple of lives,” said Hendrick.

There will be another blood drive at the Edison Mall in Fort Myers on June 24 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Hendrick said LMHS is working on getting stores and food vendors in the mall to donate gift certificates for the drive.

For more information, contact the health system at 334-5333.