This hurricane season, without a doubt, will go down in history as monumental. Harvey, Irma and Maria will be remembered as the three hurricanes that impacted millions of people. For the blood industry, these storms strained resources in unprecedented ways. OneBlood’s footprint stood in the middle of one of those historic hurrricanes. Irma was the largest hurricane on record in the United States. It impacted all of Florida and forced blood centers in the storm’s path to suspend collections for several days.
But just prior to Irma hitting the Southeastern United States, OneBlood managed to help others affected by the devastating hurricane season. Over 300 units of blood were send to Texas following Hurricane Harvey. The center sent hundreds of units to Puerto Rico before and after it was devastated.
But then the test came for OneBlood as Irma shut down its operations for an unprecedented three days. “We were proactive before the storm arrived and made sure our hospital partners had additional blood products on-hand to be able to ride out the storm”, said Bud Scholl, OneBlood Chief Executive Officer. “Not being able to collect for three days we knew we would be facing a blood shortage when the storm cleared so we put the wheels in motion early on with blood centers around the country who sent additional units to help augment our supply”, said Scholl.
The blood community responded with incredible force to help ensure a ready blood supply in Florida. As soon as the skies cleared blood started arriving. “I am absolutely incredibly grateful to the national blood banking community and the OneBlood team members that all put forth such an incredible effort,” said Scholl. “I really can’t say enough about the incredible response by blood centers around the country that without hesitation sent additional blood products to us. It is moments like this that bring out the best in people, which renews all our faith in humanity,” said Scholl.