CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Americans are being urged to donate blood in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.
Hurricane Harvey and its associated flooding are impacting the nation's blood supply, according to the American Association of Blood Banks. The AABB is urging eligible donors across America, especially those with type O-positive blood, to make and keep donation appointments as soon as possible.
With blood drives canceled for multiple days due to dangerous widespread flooding in Southeast Texas, all blood collection agencies in the U.S. are making every effort to meet the emergency blood needs of patients and ensure a sufficient blood supply in storm affected areas. It is important for blood donors to give in the coming days and weeks to meet the immediate and future needs in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.
If donations are negatively impacted, the long-term needs of patients could be affected, the AABB said.
"We are asking all potential donors, both current and first-timers, to make a commitment to donate blood or platelets as soon as possible," said Dennis Todd, chair of the AABB Interorganizational Task Force.
Individuals with type O blood are critically important at this time and are asked to schedule a blood donation appointment as soon as possible. Type O blood is the only blood type that can be safely transfused to most patients with other blood types and is frequently used in emergency situations.
The task force applauds those who wish to help and encourages all eligible individuals to give blood regularly to help ensure that blood is available whenever and wherever it is needed.
The AABB Interorganizational Task Force says it will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as blood needs change.
Those interested in donating blood may contact the following organizations to find a local blood drive and to schedule an appointment:
- AABB: www.aabb.org; 1-301-907-6977
- America’s Blood Centers: www.americasblood.org
- American Red Cross: www.redcrossblood.org; 1-800-RED-CROSS
- Armed Services Blood Program: www.militaryblood.dod.mil; 1-703-681-8024