The big, red buses belonging to Florida’s Blood Centers are a regular sight on Full Sail’s campus, as the university is a consistent contributor to the Central Florida blood supply.
In January, Full Sail had one of its most successful blood drives ever, with students and staff members donating 176 units of blood over two days.
This amount of blood contributes to saving an average of 528 lives, according to Philip Trees of Florida’s Blood Centers. It also helped replenish the more rare types of blood that were in short supply in January.
“At the time of the last blood drive, we were low on A-negative, B-negative and O-negative blood types. The negative blood types are rarer than their positive counterparts,” said Trees. “O-negative is the universal blood type for red blood cells, and oftentimes if we’re low on any type, this is the type. In general, if we don’t have time to test your blood due to a car accident or something similar, the only type that can be safely transfused is O-negative. For this reason, we need an above average supply of this type.”
Trees said the time of year contributes to deficits in the blood supply. Blood centers typically collect less blood during holiday periods since more donors are on vacation. Full Sail, which operates nearly year-round, is able to help bridge that gap in supply and provide consistently strong participation, said Trees.
“Throughout the course of a year, Full Sail’s participation to the community blood supply is significant, providing blood for thousands of people,” said Trees. “In 2012 alone, we collected 775 units of blood which contributed to over 2,000 people receiving blood in our local hospitals.”
Last May, Full Sail University was presented with a special award by Florida’s Blood Centers for being one of Central Florida’s top ten donors for 2011.