Officials call for blood donations after disaster

Mary Kress

When disaster strikes, the American Red Cross relies on people throughout the country to help out through blood donations.

Mary Kress, a Red Cross donor recruiter in Lewiston, was one of the people who gave blood this week at a drive at the Lewiston City Library. Kress said more drives will be held in the region in coming months to help offset blood shortages caused by a recent natural disaster.

Hurricane Dorian forced the cancellation of nearly 100 Red Cross blood drives and donation centers in Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia, resulting in more than 2,300 uncollected blood and platelet donations, Kress said.

“We urge eligible individuals in unaffected areas to give blood to ensure a sufficient blood supply for patients,” she said. “The Red Cross will provide blood to hospitals we don’t normally supply. Through our national inventory system, the Red Cross has the ability to move blood around the country to wherever and whenever it is needed most.”

In addition to canceled blood drives, the Red Cross anticipates low blood donor turnout in and around affected areas because of poor weather conditions this week, Kress said.

People who are interested in donating blood can schedule an appointment by using the Red Cross Blood Donor app, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling (800) 733-2767.

Another local blood drive will be conducted Sept. 25 at the Red Cross Center, located at 508 Thain Road in Lewiston.

Kress said donors can prepare by making sure they are well hydrated, have eaten some food and bring photo identification.

Sandaine may be contacted at kerris@lmtribune.com or (208) 848-2264. Follow her on Twitter @newsfromkerri.

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