Hurricane victims need blood
There’s a critical need for blood donations as supplies dwindles in Texas.
Hurricane Harvey and flooding associated with the storm has had a major impact on the nation’s blood supply. In response to the need for blood donations, nonprofit regional blood center Blood Assurance has sent and will continue sending blood supply to centers in Southeast Texas. Blood Assurance is calling on community members to make a blood donation at a local donor center or bloodmobile drives due to the increased demand.
“We are humbled to have the opportunity to be able to support those in need in Texas,” said Brian McDaniel, executive director of operations for the Blood Assurance’s Georgia operations. “Our hearts are with every person who has been affected by this tragedy. We are asking for the great people of Georgia to visit a donor center or bloodmobile and donate blood today and in also weeks to come. The need for blood supply is urgent, and we want to ensure every person affected by Hurricane Harvey has the blood supply they need during this time.”
Many blood drives in Houston and Corpus Christi areas of Texas are being cancelled due to staff and vehicles being unable to reach blood drive locations, which has impacted their ability to collect sufficient blood supply to maintain the needed blood for the hospitals they serve.
Officials are expecting rain in Houston for rest of week, and the need for blood donations and supplies will continue through the next weeks
and months. Blood Assurance is requesting donations from all blood types, but particularly those with types O negative and O positive.
The AABB Interorganizational Task Force on Domestic Disasters and Acts of Terrorism has also issued a request urging eligible donors across America to make and keep donation appointments as soon as possible.
Blood Assurance is one of many independent blood centers sending blood to Texas during this time. With the help from these blood centers, more than 2,000 units have been contributed but the need for additional units remains at a critical level.
Blood is being sent to support the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center and the Coastal Bend Blood Center. Carter Bloodcare in Dallas, Texas, is serving as a staging center to accept incoming shipments and driving them to the blood centers in need. Additionally, the Department of Health and Human Services is assisting with transportation of shipments to ensure blood supplies are safely delivered.
To be eligible to donate blood, you must be at least 18 years old ( 16 and 17 years old with parental consent), weigh 110 pounds or more and be in good health. Donors are asked to drink plenty of fluids — avoiding caffeine — and eat a meal that is rich in iron prior to donating. To schedule an appointment at a donor center or blood drive near you, please visit www.bloodassurance.org, call 800- 962- 0628 or text ‘BAGIVE’ to 444999.