Blood donations soar following Orlando shooting

Posted at 4:14 PM, Jun 12, 2016

A blood donation center in Orlando, Florida had to turn away potential donors due to an overwhelming community response following a mass shooting in a local nightclub.

The official website for the OneBlood donation center in Orlando issued a press release stating:

“The blood center is at full capacity and is asking for donors to help over the next several days to help replenish the blood supply. To make an appointment, please click here for call 1 (888) 9-DONATE.”

Communities near Orlando and across Florida mobilized to host blood drives to help the shooting victims and reduce the demand on full donation centers.



The overwhelming public response came just hours after 50 people died and an additional 53 people were injured when a man identified by officials as Omar Mateen, 29, of Port St. Lucie, Florida entered the Pulse nightclub and opened fire. Mateen died following a gunfight with SWAT officials sent in to the club to rescue hostages.

As news of the injured spread throughout the day, people streamed to local blood centers to donate. When they arrived, they found lines stretching around buildings. News crews and people on the scene documented the response via social media, including ways those in line helped one another by sharing necessities such as sunscreen, water and food.



Despite the desperate need for blood, a Food and Drug Administration limitation on homosexual men giving blood remained in place. For a short time, social media sites reported the restriction had been lifted, but this proved to be false.



The partial ban states homosexual men who have not engaged in sexual activity for at least 12 months are eligible to donate blood.

Reaction was swift on social media over the FDA regulation.