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Bloodmobile to make two stops next week seeking donations

By Staff | Nov 15, 2011

The Lee Memorial Blood Center Bloodmobile will make two stops next Saturday at Beall’s stores in Cape Coral and Fort Myers to encourage shoppers to save a life by donating blood to help decrease the blood shortage.

Lee Memorial Blood Center Community Relations Director Nancy Hendrick said the center is trying to combat holiday blood shortages by offering shoppers the opportunity to donate their blood while they are shopping.

“We are trying to get the community to step up to the plate to make sure we don’t have any blood shortages during the Thanksgiving holiday season,” she said. “We try to rely on the community to come out and support us.”

The blood drives will be held on Nov. 26 at Cypress Trace Plaza, 13300 S. Tamiami Trail in Fort Myers, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and at the Beall’s located at 3071 Pine Island Road in Cape Coral, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Those who donate will receive a Beall’s coupon for $10 off a purchase of $50 and a T-shirt.

To donate blood, individuals must be at least 17 years old, or 16 with parental consent, and in good general health, along with weighing a minimum of 115 pounds. Before donating blood, individuals should be hydrated and eat high fiber foods.

There are many medications that do not prevent an individual from donating blood, which includes insulin, blood pressure, thyroid, cholesterol, aspirin, antidepressants and hormone replacements.

A photo ID is needed for first-time donors.

All blood types are currently needed for the Lee Memorial Health System.

O negative blood, which only 9 percent of the population has, is universal because when an individual with a trauma visits the hospital, he or she is usually given O negative blood type first before the staff determines what blood type the patient is.

Although O negative is a universal blood type, if an individual is O negative, that person can only receive O negative blood back.

Only 7 percent of the population has A negative blood type.

The most common blood type is O positive, with 40 percent of the population having that type. Thirty-one percent of the population has A positive blood.

An individual can donate blood every 56 days, which can amount to a total of six times a year, if timed correctly.

Lee Memorial Health System needs 800 units of blood and blood products a week just to sustain the demand, which is an increase of the 600 units they used to need a week to fulfil that demand.

The majority of the blood donations goes to the Regional Cancer Center, the Children’s Hospital and the trauma center. The cancer center alone utilizes between 300 to 350 units of blood and blood products a week.

The Lee Memorial Blood Center is the sole provider for the Lee Memorial Health System.

For information about blood donations, call 239-343-2333.