ORLANDO, Fla. – With an increase in blood donations following the mass shootings in Texas and Ohio, OneBlood in Central Florida is stressing the importance of giving blood throughout the year.
In the hours after the shootings on Sunday, the blood donation organization said it offered help to hospitals in both cities.
"In an instant, we can see a tragedy like this unfold," senior vice president of communications Susan Forbes said. "The blood supply is playing a major role in saving these people's lives."
According to Forbes, blood donated in the wake of a tragedy likely won't be used on the victims of that event, but the donation can both save a life and help replenish the blood supply that was lost.
"As quickly as it's donated, it's tested, processed and sent out the door," Forbes said. "Whether there's a mass tragedy or something else occurring, there will always be patients in the hospital that need blood."
On Monday, Sam Goodwin spent two hours of his day donating platelets. He said it's something he does often after his son needed a blood transfusion following a motorcycle accident.
"He basically bled out. If somebody had not given blood, so that they could keep him alive, he wouldn't be here today," Goodwin said. "I feel like I want to be there for someone else, since someone was there for me."
Anyone who qualifies, is allowed to donate platelets every seven days and blood every 56 days.
Officials with OneBlood encourage first-time donors to make a habit of doing it every couple of months.
"You don't know when something like this can happen again and we need to be prepared and blood will always play a leading role in saving these trauma patients," Forbes said.
For more information on how to donate, visit oneblood.org.