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Hurricane Sandy Hinders Blood and Platelet Donations

Red Cross urges blood donations in unaffected areas

Hurricane Sandy has forced the cancellation of approximately 300 American Red Cross blood drives in 14 states along the East Coast, resulting in a shortfall of nearly 9,000 blood and platelet donations already.

The shortfall is expected to grow as Sandy is causing power outages and flooding in many areas. All eligible donors in unaffected parts of the country are encouraged to roll up a sleeve and give blood or platelets.

“Just as Red Cross volunteers have mobilized to provide disaster relief and other emergency assistance, we are mobilizing blood and platelets donations to ensure patients have access to the potentially lifesaving blood products they need,” said Geoff Kaufmann, CEO, of the Red Cross North Central Blood Services Region. “When you donate blood or platelets through the Red Cross, you can help patients in your local community and patients across the country, including those in Hurricane Sandy’s path.”

The Red Cross partners with more than 3,000 hospitals and transfusion centers across the country, providing blood products donated by giving individuals, and specialized laboratory services. While Hurricane Sandy affects the number of people available to donate, patients will still need blood and platelets despite the weather. 

All blood types are needed to ensure an adequate blood supply is available during a disaster, especially type O positive, O negative, A negative or B negative blood. Call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment or for more information. A blood donor card or driver’s license, or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in Minnesota), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements. 

How to Help

The Red Cross has mobilized disaster volunteers and is providing safe shelter from Hurricane Sandy to thousands of people in the storm’s path. The Red Cross is working closely with federal, state and local government officials, as well as community partners to coordinate response efforts.

 To help people affected by disasters like this, as well as countless crises at home and around the world, make a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for and provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance in response to disasters. Visit redcross.org, call 1-800-RED-CROSS, or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to a local American Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.

About the American Red Cross:  The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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