Nationwide blood shortage prompts call for donations in Northeast Florida

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – In honor of National Blood Donor Month, LifeSouth Community Blood Centers is encouraging people to donate blood. LifeSouth said there is a nationwide blood shortage for all blood types, especially type O, amid the pandemic.

Karen Patterson, Community Development Coordinator, said Covid-19 has had a major impact on blood donations. According to LifeSouth, one blood donation can save up to three lives.

“Blood donations make a huge difference,” said Patterson. “There is no substitute to human blood, you cannot purchase it from the store, it has to be given by somebody. So we really need those blood donations to come in.”

Melissa Brusoe told News4Jax donated blood saved her life. She had a high-risk pregnancy and gave birth to her daughter, Eliyanah, 12 weeks early at Orange Park Medical Center.

“When I went to deliver, it was a lot more complicated than they anticipated and I lost a lot of blood. They told me it was over thirty units. I actually coded on the table,” explained Brusoe.

After receiving more than 30 pints of blood, Brusoe pulled through.

“If not for the staff and nurses here and the amazing people who have donated blood to provide the blood I needed, I wouldn’t be here to celebrate her first birthday,” said Brusoe.

To celebrate Eliyanah’s first birthday, the Brusoe’s returned to Orange Park Medical Center and organized a blood drive to honor their medical team.

“When I found out how much blood I lost and all the people, all they did to take care of us, words could never say thank you,” explained Brusoe. “The least we can do is give back.”

Brusoe is hoping to make the blood drive an annual tradition. To donate blood, visit LifeSouth for a list of blood centers and blood drives.

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