Red Cross: Blood, platelet donations needed in wake of Hurricane Florence
As the American Red Cross responds 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. People can also help by making a financial donation to support relief efforts.
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.”
How to help: 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 (1800-733-2767).
Financial donations are also needed and allow the Red Cross to provide disaster relief immediately. Help people affected by Hurricane Florence by visiting RedCross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word FLORENCE to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
Up-to-date information about how the Red Cross is responding to Hurricane Florence is available at RedCross.org.
Local upcoming blood donation opportunities:
• Boyertown: Thursday, Oct. 4, from 2 to 7 p.m. at Boyertown Mennonite Church, 275 Mill St.
• Douglassville: Wednesday, Oct. 10, from 1 to 6 p.m. at Amity Place, 139 Old Swede Road.
A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at checkin. 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.
Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass® to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Blood Donor App.