The Easter holiday traditionally marks the end of "season" in Southwest Florida.
And with the end of season comes a lot of things - great dinner specials at area restaurants, less traffic on the roads and, unfortunately, fewer donors at local blood banks.
While weather has kept visitors here a little longer this year, it's not too early to be thinking about summer blood supplies.
Donors have a couple of options - blood mobiles operated by the Lee Memorial Health System or other providers, or Lee Memorial facilities throughout Lee County where you can stop in on your schedule.
The blood banks associated with the Lee Memorial Health System are always in need of additional units of all blood types.
The closest place to Fort Myers Beach to donate would be Summerlin Crossings 15880 Summerlin Road, Suite 113, in Fort Myers. Blood bank hours include Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Wednesday, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Call 437-5061 for more information.
Blood is needed for numerous medical procedures, not only for crash victims, but for surgeries and various treatments. Fewer post-season donors mean less available stock and, sometimes, community-wide appeals for certain blood types.
Almost anyone can donate blood and most medications do not preclude one from baring an arm.
Blood donors just have to weigh at least 115 pounds; be 17 years old or older (16 with parental consent) and have a photo ID if new to the donor process.
The procedure is fairly quick, relatively painless - and it save lives.
Just one donation can help three patients in need because it can be separated into components - red blood cells, plasma and platelets.
If you can spare a few minutes this spring or summer, we urge you to take part.
Here in the Cape, blood donations can be made at
Other locations include:
- Lee Memorial Hospital 2776 Cleveland Ave. Fort Myers, 33901 Phone: 239-343-2333 Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, & Friday 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Thursday 8 a.m. - 7 p.m.
- Bonita Community Health Center 3501 Health Center Blvd., Suite 2011 Bonita Springs, 34135 Phone: 239-495-4372 Hours: Monday - Friday 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.
- Cape Coral Hospital, 636 Del Prado Blvd., Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. and Tuesdays 8 a.m. - 7 p.m.
There also is the convenience of having the Lee Memorial Blood Mobile come to you.
The center provides everything a business or organization needs to host a blood drive.
We speak from experience when we say they are both helpful and professional. To schedule the blood mobile, call 343-2333.
- Observer editorial