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Hurricane Sandy cuts into blood supplies

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

After a national disaster, it's traditional to hear the American Red Cross appeal for donations.

After Superstorm Sandy, the Red Cross is appealing to area residents to make a more personal donation - blood.

The storm forced cancellation of more than 325 American Red Cross blood drives in 13 states and the District of Columbia, resulting in a shortfall of more than 11,000 blood donations thus far.

Even more cancellations are expected in areas where the big priority right now is on storm recovery.

The Red Cross is in need of both blood and platelets.

Blood has a limited shelf life, and platelets only have a shelf-life of 5 days, so supplies must be constantly replenished.

All blood types are needed, but especially type O, A negative and B negative blood.

Call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment or to get more information.

A blood donor card or driver's license, or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

To make a financial donation to the relief effort, visit redcross.org, call 1-800-RED-CROSS, or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

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