With the American Red Cross responding over the last few weeks to Hurricane Florence, providing food, shelter and comfort to those affected, individuals outside the affected areas are urged to help by giving blood or platelets to care for patients in the storm’s path and across the country.
Locally, the next Red Cross blood drive is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 9 at the Escalon Christian Reformed Church, 2203 California St., from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Hurricane Florence’s wrath left catastrophic damage behind and also took a toll on blood and platelet donations. Nearly 200 Red Cross blood drives in the Southeast were forced to cancel, resulting in more than 5,200 uncollected blood and platelet donations.
“Natural disasters like hurricanes can disrupt blood drives and prevent donors from giving, but hospital patients still depend on lifesaving transfusions,” said Cliff Numark, senior vice president, Red Cross Blood Services. “There is an especially critical need for platelets to help cancer patients and type O blood donations for ongoing patient care and emergencies. Every donation can be a lifeline for patients.”
Donors of all blood types are urged to help restore hope to patients across the country by making an appointment today to give blood or platelets. Appointments can be made by using the Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Donors can also attend the scheduled blood drives in their area.
Financial donations are also needed and allow the Red Cross to provide disaster relief immediately when they occur. Help people affected by disasters by visiting RedCross.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS.
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 in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally 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.
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission.