Following Hurricane Ian’s devastating landfall, the American Red Cross urges eligible individuals to give blood and help ensure patients in impacted areas continue to have access to lifesaving blood.
Dangerous weather conditions and floodwaters have canceled dozens of blood drives with approximately one thousand blood and platelet donations uncollected. Fewer donors are likely to come out to donate at drives in and around affected areas.
Last week, the American Red Cross sent several hundred blood products to Florida to ensure blood remains available for patients in areas impacted by the storm.
While the Red Cross does not typically service hospitals in Florida, it is supporting its industry partners through the AABB Task Force for Disaster Response and standing by to provide additional products as needed. Through its national inventory management system, the Red Cross has the ability to move blood around the country to wherever and whenever it is needed most.
It’s important to remember that blood is perishable and cannot be stockpiled. Type O positive blood is the most transfused blood type and type O negative is the universal blood type, which can be transfused to patients of any blood type.
Additionally, platelets are especially vulnerable with only a five-day shelf-life. These blood products are routinely in short supply and must constantly be replenished.
The American Red Cross said they depend on generous volunteer blood donors to provide lifesaving blood for those in need – each and every day – not only during times of disaster.
To schedule an appointment to give blood or platelets, use the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).