Critical Need For Blood Donations In Support Of Hurricane Harvey Victims

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Hurricane Harvey and flooding associated with the storm has had a major impact on the nation’s blood supply. In response to the need for blood donations, nonprofit regional blood center Blood Assurance has sent and will continue sending blood supply to centers in Southeast Texas. Blood Assurance is calling on community members to make a blood donation at a local donor center or bloodmobile drives due to the increased demand.

“Our hearts and prayers are with every person in Southeast Texas affected by Hurricane Harvey,” said Jay Baumgardner, executive director for marketing and community outreach. “Blood Assurance is humbled to be able to support those in need during this tragedy. There are many ways to help during this time, and donating blood is one of the best ways you can support the people of Texas. The need for blood donations is urgent, and we are asking members of our community to give whole blood donations today and in weeks to come.”

Many blood drives in Houston and Corpus Christi areas of Texas are being cancelled due to staff and vehicles being unable to reach blood drive locations, which has impacted their ability to collect sufficient blood supply to maintain the needed blood for the hospitals they serve.

Officials are expecting rain in Houston for rest of week, and the need for blood donations and supplies will continue through the next weeks and months. Blood Assurance is requesting donations from all blood types, but particularly those with types O negative and O positive.

The AABB Interorganizational Task Force on Domestic Disasters and Acts of Terrorism has also issued a request urging eligible donors across America to make and keep donation appointments as soon as possible. 

Blood Assurance is one of many independent blood centers sending blood to Texas during this time. With the help from these blood centers, more than 2,000 units have been contributed but the need for additional units remains at a critical level.

Blood is being sent to support the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center and the Coastal Bend Blood Center. Carter Bloodcare in Dallas, Texas is serving as a staging center to accept incoming shipments and driving them to the blood centers in need. Additionally, the Department of Health and Human Services is assisting with transportation of shipments to ensure blood supplies are safely delivered.

To be eligible to donate blood, you must be at least 18 years old (16 and 17 years old with parental consent), weigh 110 pounds or more and be in good health. Donors are asked to drink plenty of fluids — avoiding caffeine — and eat a meal that is rich in iron prior to donating. To schedule an appointment at a donor center or blood drive near you, visit www.bloodassurance.org, call 800-962-0628 or text ‘BAGIVE ‘ to 444999.


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