The American Red Cross reports this morning that 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 more than 9,000 blood and platelet thus far. That number is expected to go up as the storm continues on its path, with more areas affected by power outages and flooding.
All eligible donors in unaffected parts of the country are encouraged to roll up a sleeve and give blood or platelets.
“The Red Cross is urging immediate blood and platelet donations in areas unaffected by this storm,” said Jared Schultzman, Communications Manager, of the Red Cross Northern California Blood Services Region. “While Sandy will affect the number of people available to donate, hospital patients 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 some states), 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.