MILWAUKEE -- The Orlando massacre has folks from Florida to Wisconsin coming out to give blood. The BloodCenter of Wisconsin saw a huge increase in the number of online signups on Sunday, June 12th -- in the hours after the worst mass shooting in United States' history.
Forty-nine people were killed and another 53 people were hurt when a gunman opened fire at the popular Pulse nightclub in Orlando early Sunday.
"Our hearts go out to all of those victims in Orlando," said Fay Spano, director of public relations at BloodCenter of Wisconsin.
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"When we hear of situations like that, our first thought is, is there enough to help all of those people? In a mass trauma situation, one individual alone might need 10 to 20 or even 30 units of blood," said Spano.
With the BloodCenter of Wisconsin being part of a national supply network, Spano said they were on the phone, checking in with those in Orlando to see what they need.
"We were told that because of the outpouring in Orlando there was not a need to ship," said Spano.
However, the incident was a tragic reminder of how important it is for our supply to be adequate.
"We have an ongoing need here. Two or three weeks ago, we had a situation in Milwaukee where we were at a level of only about a half-day supply of O negative," said Spano.
Most of the BloodCenter of Wisconsin donation locations have a visible leaderboard, so the community and staff can see the need. The centers like to have a least a three-day supply -- with O negative being the most critical.
"It is the universal blood type. It is the blood type that's in emergency rooms, that's in Flight for Life, that's used in trauma situations. The BloodCenter of Wisconsin serves every hospital in southeast Wisconsin. We are the sole provider of blood to 56 hospitals in 30 counties -- so hospitals rely solely on us," said Spano.