Superstorm Sandy Recovery; Biomedical Services Talking Points

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TOPLINE MESSAGES

Thanks to an outpouring of support from the public following Superstorm Sandy, the American Red Cross blood supply is currently sufficient to meet patient needs.

  • Although the blood supply has been replenished, the need for blood is constant and the Red Cross encourages donations year-round.
  • Blood donations tend to decline during the holiday season as donors become busy with vacations, holiday shopping and gatherings with friends and family.
  • Donors who gave in response to the aftermath of Sandy may be eligible to donate again toward the end of the winter holiday period.
  • The Red Cross truly appreciates all the organizations that have stepped up to either host special blood drives or reschedule those that were canceled due to Superstorm Sandy.

  • Sandy forced the cancellation of almost 380 Red Cross blood drives in 13 states and the District of Columbia, resulting in a shortfall of more than 12,800 units of blood and platelets.
  • The Red Cross must hold about 600 blood drives each day across the U.S. to meet patient needs. When disaster disrupts this schedule, we must immediately make plans to replenish the supply.
  • As a Nor’easter heads toward the East Coast, the Red Cross is preparing to respond to the new storm at the same time as the massive relief effort for Superstorm Sandy is underway.

  • The Red Cross is currently prepared to help meet the blood needs of affected areas.
  • The Nor’easter has the potential to cause the cancellation of additional blood drives as it moves up the coast.
  • It’s the blood on the shelves that helps save lives before, during and after a disaster.
  • Visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS and schedule your appointment today.
  • The response to Sandy is very large and very costly. The Red Cross needs your help now.

  • To donate visit www.redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
  • Your gift enables the Red Cross to provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance to those affected.
  • Contributions may also be sent to your local Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.
  • SUPPLEMENTAL TALKING POINTS

    Nationwide, around 44,000 blood donations are needed each and every day to meet the needs of accident victims, cancer patients, and children with blood disorders. These patients and others rely on blood products during their treatment.

    When disaster strikes, this need does not diminish, even though blood donors may find it difficult or impossible to get to a convenient donation opportunity.

  • If collections are negatively impacted by a disaster, the long-term needs of these patients could also be affected.
  • To give blood, someone must be at least 17 years of age, meet weight and height requirements and be in general good health. Donors should bring their Red Cross blood donor card or other form of positive ID with them. Some states allow 16-year-olds to give with parental consent.

  • Please be aware the Red Cross anticipates unusually high call volume over the next several days from those directly affected by the storm and you may experience delays.