Immediate Blood Donations Needed Following Hurricane Irene

In the aftermath of Hurricane Irene, the local Red Cross is now urging immediate blood and platelet donations. The American Red Cross has already had to cancel more than 60 blood drives along the East Coast due to Hurricane Irene, resulting in the shortfall of nearly 1,500 units of blood. In addition, hundreds of area blood and platelet donors have been unable to make their scheduled donation appointments because of storm-related issues. More than 600 local blood donation appointments and more than 100 local platelet apheresis appointments have been cancelled due to Hurricane Irene in the past few days. Local blood drive cancellations because of power outages continue to impede Red Cross operations this week. Call 1-800-RED CROSS to register for current blood drives in unaffected areas.

The local Red Cross has an urgent and very critical need for eligible platelet donors. Eligible platelet donors are asked to call 1-800-272-2123 and immediately schedule a donation as soon as possible. Platelets are commonly used for patients undergoing cancer treatment, trauma victims and many other hospital patients. Since platelets have a shelf-life of just five days, it is imperative that there are enough platelets on hand to meet the needs of local hospital patients in need.

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. Every 2 seconds, someone in America needs a blood transfusion. These patients and others rely on blood products during their treatment.

To schedule an appointment to donate blood, please call 1-800-RED CROSS. Eligible platelet donors should call 1-800-272-2123. For more information visit