Red Cross: Blood, platelet do­na­tions needed in wake of Hur­ri­cane Florence

The Boyertown Area Times - - LOCAL NEWS - Alana Mauger Amer­i­can Red Cross

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.

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