The American Red Cross is encouraging the community to make and keep blood donation appointments to ensure we can meet the needs of patients whenever and wherever they arise, especially following the Idalia storm system.
Large storm systems like Idalia can often force the cancellation of blood drives in affected areas, yet the Red Cross is already experiencing a concerning shortfall in donations, particularly during the summer months when blood donations tend to dip.
The need for blood is constant. As a result of Idalia’s impacts to the North Carolina region, the Red Cross has experienced a loss of over 250 units of blood in due to Hurricane Idalia and cancelled/postponed blood drives.
Blood can take up to three days to be tested, processed and made available for patients, so it’s the blood already on the shelves that helps save lives in an emergency.
The Red Cross is stocking hospitals in the Florida Panhandle with additional blood products to ensure they are able to keep adequate inventory on the shelves if transportation routes are impacted in the coming days. In addition, the Red Cross pre-positioned blood products in other areas of the Southeast in advance of the storm, and stands ready to provide additional blood products if hospitals need support.