Over 170 Lives Impacted by Suncoast Science Center Blood Drive

Coconut Telegraph


Three SunCoast Blood Center (SCBC) blood mobiles lined Beneva Road as the Suncoast Science Center/Faulhaber Fab Lab (SSC) hosted its first blood drive on Wednesday, July 29, 2020. The two community organizations teamed up in an effort to fill critical blood and platelet shortages in the Suncoast area. As a not-for-profit community organization, SSC has been leveraging its unique facility, high-tech equipment and trained volunteers to support the community during COVID-19. After designing and fabricating over 4,000 face masks and shields for local healthcare workers, SSC reached out to SCBC to determine how its collaborative efforts could further assist citizens. Many SCBC blood drives have been canceled due to the pandemic, heightening blood scarcities at a time when demand is greater than ever. With its firm belief in the power of collaboration, SSC was poised to mobilize its supporters to drive donations.

The drive, which brought out 71 donors, produced a total of 59 units of blood. Each unit of blood can save the lives of up to three people. The units collected at the drive have the potential to impact over 170 people who are suffering life-threatening traumas, undergoing cancer treatment or major surgery and even those critically ill with the coronavirus. COVID-19 antibody testing was provided for each successful donation made at the drive. Donors who test positive for the antibodies will be eligible to donate convalescent plasma, a first line treatment for COVID-19 patients. Upon successful donation, donors were also provided a tour of the lab and the opportunity to engrave their name on a laser cut “lifesaver” keychain designed by SSC student volunteers.

“The donors who turned out to support their community during this difficult time should be very proud,” noted SSC Executive Director Ping Faulhaber. “We tripled our initial donor goal and look forward to growing this new partnership with SunCoast Blood Centers.”

Pictured: SSC student volunteers Claire Wang, Lucas Rodgers and Bari Namgoong show off special bandages received after donating blood.

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