What to know about donating blood during natural disasters

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October 16, Panama City, Florida. Jenna and son Leo receive hot chicken fajita meals, snacks, and water from a Red Cross feeding vehicle on day five after landfall of Hurricane Michael. Leo was especially pleased with the snack and shouted with delight when he saw his neighbor coming to receive the same. Photo by Daniel […]

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The need for blood donations often becomes more apparent during natural disasters, as first responders are working to save lives. 

According to the American Red Cross, blood can take up to three days to be tested, processed and made available for patients, so it’s critical that there already be blood available to save lives during natural disasters. Disasters that impact a large area, force the cancellation of blood drives or with a large number of injuries may require an increase in blood donations to help meet patient needs. 

Eligible donors can give blood or platelets at any time to help ensure a sufficient supply. Type O negative red blood cells, type AB plasma, and platelets are especially useful in hospitals when there isn’t time to determine a patient’s blood type during an emergency. 

To learn more about how to donate or to find a scheduled blood drive, click here

For details on ways to get help after a natural disaster, click here

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