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Storms and wildfires leave Red Cross with blood shortage

Storms and wildfires leave Red Cross with blood shortage
Posted at 10:02 PM, Sep 18, 2020

The United States has seen its share of natural disasters in recent weeks. From a massive derecho in Iowa, to wildfires in the Western United States along with hurricanes striking the Gulf Coast, severe weather has taken a toll on the country.

This has especially been true for the American Red Cross.

The Red Cross said on Friday that recent events have caused the Red Cross to cancel 100 blood drives, resulting in 2,700 blood platelet and plasma donations being lost. This has also had an impact on other blood collection centers, the Red Cross said.

Amid the pandemic, the Red Cross said that its process is safe, and that it will take precautions to avoid spreading germs. Red Cross staff will be wearing gloves, routinely wiping down donor-touched areas, using sterile collection sets for every donation, and preparing the arm for donation with an aseptic scrub.

You can make an appointment to donate blood by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

To give blood, people can donate once every 56 days, must be in good health and feeling well, be at least age 16, and weigh 110 pounds, depending on height. Those who donate will be asked to produce an ID, and be asked several medical questions.

The whole process takes 10-15 minutes, the Red Cross said.