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300 blood drives canceled because of Sandy
October 30th, 2012
05:45 PM ET

300 blood drives canceled because of Sandy

About 300 American Red Cross blood drives have been canceled because of Superstorm Sandy, the organization said Tuesday, and more cancellations are expected.

"Patients will still need blood despite the weather," said Dr. Richard Benjamin, Red Cross chief medical officer, in a statement. "To ensure a sufficient national blood supply is available for those in need, both during and after the storm passes, it is critical that those in unaffected areas make an appointment to donate blood as soon as possible."

Because of the cancellations, more than 9,000 blood and platelet donations across 14 states - which would otherwise be available for those needing transfusions - did not take place, the organization said. The situation may worsen as the remnants of Sandy may continue to cause damage.

Typically, the Red Cross holds about 600 blood drives daily, said spokeswoman Stephane Millian.

The organization moved blood and blood products to areas threatened by Sandy before the storm hit, but "the long-term impact of power outages and blood drive cancellations is expected to be significant," it said in a statement.

"With the power outages, and the flooding in many areas, and some damage, obviously that will result in even more cancellations" probably through the end of the week, Millian said. "Hospital patients still need blood and blood products."

Blood is needed by someone in the United States every two seconds, the Red Cross said. On average, 44,000 blood donations are needed daily to treat victims of accidents,  cancer patients and children with blood disorders.

Individuals who are over the age of 17 (16 in some states, with parental permission), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in good general health can donate blood.

Even if you are far away from Sandy's wrath, the organization can ship blood to areas where it is needed, Millian said. However, most donated blood first goes to help people in local communities before being sent elsewhere.

There are several ways to help the Red Cross, Millian said. One is by donating blood and platelets. Another is by giving to the disaster relief effort. "The response to Sandy is large and it's costly, and the Red Cross needs help with that as well - providing shelter, food and emotional support to those affected," she said.

To donate blood, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). You can also text the word "redcross" to 90999 to make a $10 donation or visit redcross.org.


soundoff (37 Responses)
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    My thoughts and prayers from California for all states going thru this rough time. There is one important factor that all must remember and that is working together and caring about one another is so important right now. This is vital as we encounter disasters like this.

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    October 31, 2012 at 03:07 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Amelia

      Yes, veins can be hard to get into, they can wiggle or move away from a nldeee once it is introduced, thus the probing to catch it. You may have a small bruise or tenderness but other wise, your vein will recover quickly. This experience will not hinder you from donating blood in the future. Donating blood is one of the single most important things a person can do to help others. You don't realize it, but you are saving a life every time you donate.

      November 14, 2012 at 02:03 | Report abuse |
  2. Zack Miller-Murphy

    Blood donors can also donate at NY Blood Center....go to nybloodcenter.org for a list of open centers and blood drives

    October 31, 2012 at 14:47 | Report abuse | Reply
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    hmmmmmm,.....The organization moved blood and blood products to areas threatened by Sandy before the storm hit, but "the long-term impact of power outages and blood drive cancellations is expected to be significant.,.,., it said in a statement and many thaks

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