Red Cross Urging Blood Donations to Ease Hurricane Irene Shortfall

August 30, 2011 Updated Aug 30, 2011 at 11:51 AM EDT

By WKBW News

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Red Cross Urging Blood Donations to Ease Hurricane Irene Shortfall

August 30, 2011 Updated Aug 30, 2011 at 11:51 AM EDT

(WKBW release) Since Hurricane Irene began its path along the East Coast, the storm has forced the cancellation of nearly 60 American Red Cross blood drives, resulting in the shortfall of more than 1,500 units of blood and the numbers could increase this week while areas deal with the storm’s aftermath.

For those areas not heavily impacted by the storm, the Red Cross is urging immediate blood and platelet donations and asks that community members consider donating blood in affected areas, once it is safe to do so. Blood has a limited shelf life and platelets have a shelf-life of just five days.

“It is imperative that we are always prepared with enough blood on hand to meet the needs of patients,” stated Donna M. Morrissey, Director of Communications, American Red Cross – Northeast Division. We encourage all those who are eligible to help make up the shortfall caused by Hurricane Irene. It’s the blood that is already on the shelves that helps save lives before, during and after a disaster.”

The Red Cross is still working to stabilize the blood supply after our summer shortages and with a holiday weekend approaching, the need continues.

Because of the need, the following blood donation centers will be open for additional opportunities on Wednesday, August 31, 2011 from 12-6 p.m:

Buffalo Donation Center, 786 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo

Cheektowaga Donation Center (Dick-Urban Plaza), 576 Dick Road, Cheektowaga

Hamburg Donation Center, 5161 Camp Road, Hamburg

Mid-City Plaza Donation Center, 301 Meadow Drive, North Tonawanda

Transitown Plaza Donation Center, 4267 Transit Road (at Main Street), Williamsville