Web Exclusive Feature — Central Florida Health News Magazine — February 2014
Winter Haven has a new bloodmobile ready to roll to businesses, communities, churches, schools and special events. The new 40-foot vehicle, which is equipped to accept donations from five people at one time, features new equipment, a spacious registration area, hydraulic stabilization, and a surround sound stereo system.
“Voluntary blood donations ensure that a supply is available when patients need it. The new bus will hopefully allow us to collect donations in an efficient and timely manner while providing a more comfortable experience for donors,” says Kayla Kapp, a recruiter/coordinator for Winter Haven Hospital Community Blood Center.
The bloodmobile has no fixed schedule, but can be dispatched to your location for as little as five donors. “We had great participation for our first kickoff day in the new bloodmobile. We were able to collect 16 units of blood at the Auburndale Fire Department,” Kapp says.
The Community Blood Center is the sole supplier of blood to Winter Haven Hospital, Winter Haven Hospital’s Regency Center for Women and Infants, and Lake Wales Medical Center. It takes approximately 1,500 donors a month to supply the blood needs of these facilities; up to three patients can be helped with each blood unit.
“Blood cannot be manufactured artificially and nothing can be substituted for the functions that blood serves. The only source of the blood supply is from volunteer blood donors,” Kapp says. “Every three seconds someone needs blood. If all blood donors gave two to four times a year, there would be no blood shortages.”
Before a donor gives blood, he or she receives a mini wellness checkup, when blood cholesterol, blood pressure, and an anemia screening is performed. Medical history also is reviewed. During the blood draw, the donors are given a snack.
The center’s fleet now has three bloodmobiles that collect about 65 percent of the blood donated. The center also operates two fixed locations where donors can give blood in Polk County. One is located at 460 First Street North, Winter Haven, which is across the street from Winter Haven Hospital. It is open Monday through Saturday starting at 8 a.m. Closing times vary. The second facility is at Deeley Hunt Building, Lake Wales Medical Center, 410 South 11th Street, Room 128, Lake Wales. It is open Monday and Thursday afternoons.
To schedule a bloodmobile or obtain more information, contact the Community Blood Center at (863) 297-1840.
story by CHERYL ROGERS