Blood donation lines grow in wake of shooting

Posted at 6:28 AM, Jun 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-15 08:22:03-04

In the hours after the worst mass shooting in American history – Floridians living near and around Orlando responded in droves to help those in need.

ABC captured images of hundreds of people forming long lines wrapping around “OneBlood” Donation centers.

Many perspective donors responding to a call from the center requesting “O’ and “O” negative donor types -- a blood type that can be used in treatment for patients without knowing their blood type.

“You know unfortunately when a tragedy like this happens a lot times that’s the only time people think of to think of to donate blood,” Amanda Farrell, Director of Blood Donor Recruitment for UNYTS told 7 Eyewitness News.

Farrell says its type tragedies often highlight the significance of blood donation. 

“We are really reliant on the community to come forward to supply the need all patients in our local hospitals.”

UNYTS estimates that close to 37 percent of the population is eligible to donate blood but only 10 percent do annually.

Donation centers often see a lull in blood donors in the summer combined with current health deferrals -- Farrell says it’s crucial for those able to donate blood to do so.

“At this point in time we are able to supply our hospitals with what they need but again you never know when there may be you know a trauma that comes in or an injury,” Farrell says.

“That’s why that need for blood is always constant that the need for donors is constant because we do have to provide constant product to our hospitals 7 days a week 365 days.”