Hurricane Sandy is already affecting blood supplies as several American Red Cross blood drives have already been called off due to the storm, and more cancellations are anticipated after the storm hits.
The cancellations have caused a shortfall of several hundred units of blood and platelets so far and the situation could worsen as the storm passes through the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast.
The Red Cross moved blood and blood products to those areas most likely to be affected by Sandy so that the blood needs of people in those communities could be met during and after the storm Patients will still need blood despite the weather.
The Red Cross has the ability to move blood across the country as the need arises, and is urging eligible donors in locations unaffected by Sandy to schedule an appointment to give blood and platelets.
To schedule a donation time or get more information about giving blood, people can visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs blood. An average of 44,000 blood donations are needed each and every day across the country to help treat accident victims, cancer patients, and children with blood disorders. These patients and others rely on blood products during their treatment. This need does not diminish when disaster strikes.
WHO CAN GIVE? All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. 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 generally in 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.