Hurricane Sandy has forced the cancellation of about 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. Blood drives are scheduled starting Thursday in several counties in central Oklahoma.
“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 Steve Nagle, CEO of the Red Cross Southwest 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. While the hurricane affects the number of people available to donate, patients will still need blood and platelets despite the weather.
All blood types are needed, especially type O positive, O negative, A negative or B negative. Call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit www.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. People who are at least 17 years old (16 with parental permission in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate. High school students and other donors 18 and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.