Blood donations needed as Hurricane Florence approaches

Every year, Virginia Blood Services saves 210,000 lives

LYNCHBURG, Va. – After tragic shootings including the Pulse night club in Orlando and the country music fest in Las Vegas, thousands of people came together to donate blood for those injured.

The same need is there ahead of Hurricane Florence.

Melanie Mitchell works with Virginia Blood Services.

“People don’t think about it until it happens. The important thing is to keep coming back, because we’re going to need you again. We don’t know when tragedy is going to occur,” Mitchell said.

Since last week, doctors including Chelsea Sheppard have been following the weather reports and preparing blood they’ve collected for hospitals that will need it.

Officials are "making sure that you have the blood at the hospitals ahead of time, so that if there is difficulty getting it from the blood center to the hospital because of the weather conditions... that it’s already there,” Sheppard said.

Every year Virginia Blood Services leaders say, hey save about 210,000 lives a year.

Blood centers look for people ages 16 and up, with all bloods types, but especially those who are O-negative. They also need blood platelets.

“The patients that need it most are going to be your (people with) blood cancers, disorders, cancer in general. They’re the greatest population that uses blood products," Mitchell said.

The organization want people to donate now. But if can’t make it out before Florence strikes, then go to a blood center near you next week.

Click the links below to find a local blood center near you and requirements.

http://www.vablood.org/contact-us/donor-centers/ AND http://www.vablood.org/donors/bethegivingtype/

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