OneBlood sending blood to Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria

In this Aug. 20, 2013, photo, technician Greg Snyder, left, inserts a needle into a vein on Gina Hohenstaff's arm as she donates blood in an Indiana Blood Center Bloodmobile in Indianapolis. The nation’s blood-collection system has undergone a dramatic change from just a decade ago, when agencies that oversee the blood supply worried whether they could keep up with the needs of an aging population. Now, blood banks are making fewer but more targeted appeals for donations and reducing the size of their operations. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – Several shipments of blood are on their way to Maria-devastated Puerto Rico from OneBlood, a not-for-profit blood center serving Florida and the majority of the Southeast.

The organization says widespread destruction, flooding and power outages have left millions of people on the island displaced and made it extremely difficult to collect blood in Puerto Rico.

OneBlood plans to send more blood to Puerto Rico in the coming days and they’re encouraging eligible donors to visit one of their donor centers (see below) or find a Big Red Bus nearby to give blood to those in need.  They’re working closely with the American Red Cross, the Blood Centers of America (BCA) and America’s Blood Centers (ABC) to arrange daily shipments of blood and platelets to Puerto Rico’s hospitals.

To find out how you can donate, simply visit oneblood.org and click on the “Donate Now” tab in the upper right-hand corner.

You must be generally healthy, over the age of 16 and weigh at least 110 to be eligible.

To learn more about the importance of blood donation, visit oneblood.org.

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