Indianapolis—Hurricane Irene is shaping up to become a large flooding operation for the American Red Cross. This includes ensuring there is a sufficient blood supply for the constant need as well as any special needs caused the by the disaster. The storm has forced the cancellation of more than 60 Red Cross blood drives, resulting in the shortfall of more than 2,100 units of blood. It is expected that additional blood drives may be postponed in the coming days due to storm damage and power outages.
The Red Cross is urging immediate blood and platelet donations in areas unaffected by this storm and asks that community members consider donating blood in affected areas once it’s safe to do so.
Since platelets, a blood component, have a shelf-life of just five days, it is imperative that there are enough platelets on hand to meet the needs of patients who rely on this lifesaving blood product.
To schedule an appointment to donate blood or platelets, or to host a blood drive in your community, please visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800- 733-2767). Please be aware that the Red Cross anticipates unusually high call volume over the next several days from those directly affected by the hurricane and thus you may experience long delays.