American Red Cross, Greater Alleghenies Blood Services Region, is continuing its efforts to reschedule cancelled blood drives and increase donor turnout at area blood drives to help replenish blood supplies following Superstorm Sandy.
Through Nov. 1, Superstorm Sandy forced the cancellation of approximately 360 Red Cross blood drives in 13 states and the District of Columbia, resulting in a shortfall of nearly 12,000 blood and platelet donations thus far.
Within the 100-county Greater Alleghenies Region, a dozen blood drives in four of the six states it covers were cancelled, resulting in a shortfall of approximately 400 blood donations. In addition, operation hours were curtailed at seven of the region's blood drives on Monday (Oct. 29), representing an additional shortfall estimated at more than 300 donations, or more than 700 total. The region needs to collect approximately 900 blood and platelet donations daily to meet patient need.
"The American Red Cross is encouraging blood and platelet donations in the wake of Superstorm Sandy. While the public has been very supportive so far, additional donors are needed to make up for the shortfall caused by the storm. As Sandy continues to affect the number of people available to donate, hospital patients still need blood and platelets despite the conditions," said John Hagins, CEO, Greater Alleghenies Region Blood Services Region.
Nationwide, an average of 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. This need does not diminish when disaster strikes.
How to donate blood
Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment or for more information. 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.
To help support the
Red Cross Disaster Relief effort:
- 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.
Please call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment to donate blood. Platelet donations must be scheduled in advance by calling 1-800-542-5663, extension 2637.