As Hurricane Ian makes landfall, the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB) Interorganizational Task Force is urging eligible blood donors in parts of the United States unaffected by the storm to make donation appointments as soon as possible and keep existing appointments.
The blood supply in the hurricane zone is already suffering due to lower blood donor turnout and evacuations ahead of the storm. This disruption is forecasted to be ongoing with the storm and recovery process.
LifeServe Blood Center, a member of the AABB task force, sent blood products including red cells and platelets to Florida on Monday ahead of the storm and continue to be on call if more are needed. LifeServe is seeking blood donations now to recoup those donations and ensure a strong community blood supply.
All blood collection agencies in the U.S. are making every effort to prepare to meet the emergency blood needs of patients at this time. It is important for Americans to donate blood to ensure continuity of the blood supply in areas that may be impacted by Hurricane Ian. Any shortage of blood could impact the health needs of patients in these areas.
LifeServe Blood Center is encouraging individuals to give blood to ensure its ability to help those in the impacted areas. “In order to support the needs of patients in areas impacted by Hurricane Ian and ensure our local medical partners’ needs are met, we will need to see an increase in blood donors in the coming days and weeks,” said Danielle West, LifeServe Blood Center Director of PR & Marketing.
The task force will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as blood needs change. Those looking to donate blood can schedule an appointment by calling LifeServe Blood Center at 800.287.4903 or visiting lifeservebloodcenter.org.