As medical teams in Haiti continue to care for the victims of the devastating earthquake, the American Red Cross is coordinating shipments of blood and blood products from the United States to Haiti at the request of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).
About 1,100 units of blood have been sent from the United States to Haiti to help treat earthquake victims - nearly 750 units from the Red Cross and 350 units units from America’s Blood Centers (ABC), Blood Centers of America (BCA) and the AABB’s National Blood Exchange (NBE).
PAHO officials are working with the National Blood Transfusion Program at the Haitian Ministry of Health to distribute blood to local hospitals according to the needs of the earthquake victims.
Future shipments will be filled through a cooperative effort by blood collectors in the United States and coordinated by the Red Cross with PAHO. The Armed Services Blood Program continues to coordinate the supply of blood products for US military medical facilities participating in the relief efforts, such as the USNS Comfort.
The American Red Cross and other blood suppliers continue to meet the current needs of this tragedy from existing blood supplies. At this time we do not anticipate the need for a general appeal for blood donations to support our efforts to help earthquake victims in Haiti.
To keep blood supplies at an adequate level in the U.S., please consider making an appointment to give blood. Call the American Red Cross at 1-800-RED CROSS, visit redcrossblood.org, or call your local blood center in the days and weeks ahead.
Your blood donation will become part of the nation’s blood supply and will help ensure that the Red Cross is prepared for any blood needs that arise right here in our community or wherever blood is needed.
Helping supply blood for patients in Haiti is only part of the American Red Cross response in the devastated Caribbean nation. The American Red Cross has already committed nearly $78 million to meet the most urgent needs of Haiti’s earthquake survivors, and is working in close coordination with other responding organizations to collaborate on long-term recovery projects in the region. The immediate focus is on providing food, clean drinking water, and distributing shelter items such as tents, tarps, sleeping mats and blankets.
More than 64 flights carrying Red Cross aid from around the world have arrived in Haiti. Red Cross efforts to date include 3 million pre-packaged meals, 4.2 million liters of clean water, and shelter items for thousands of people. In addition, the Red Cross is providing family linking services and Creole-speaking volunteers on board the USNS Comfort to help communicate with injured Haitians being treated on the hospital ship.
The American Red Cross and its partners are now producing almost 1 million liters of clean water per day. Red Cross teams are also working to scale up latrine construction as quickly as possible. Shelter needs remain urgent. The Red Cross is working to provide a range of shelter assistance, and developing a strategy to meet long-term housing reconstruction needs.
The American Red Cross is applying experience gained following the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. For the past five years, we have been working with partners in the areas affected by the tsunami to construct water and sanitation systems, provide emotional support and healthcare, build shelters, help restore livelihoods, and prepare communities for the next disaster. We plan to offer a similar level of support in Haiti in close collaboration with Red Cross partners and other international and local aid organizations.
If you would like to help, text “Haiti” to 90999 on a cell phone to make a $10 donation, visit www.redcross.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS.
You can help the victims of countless crises, like the recent earthquake in Haiti, around the world each year by making a financial gift to the American Red Cross International Response Fund, which will provide immediate relief and long-term support through supplies, technical assistance and other support to help those in need. The American Red Cross honors donor intent. If you wish to designate your donation to a specific disaster, please do so at the time of your donation by mailing your donation with the designation to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, D.C. 20013 or to your local American Red Cross chapter. Donations to the International Response Fund can be made by phone at 1-800-REDCROSS or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish) or online at www.redcross.org.