Blood Donations Needed in the Aftermath of Hurricane Irene

August 30, 2011

Media Contact: Jennifer L. Keller - (316) 268-0853 / Cell: (316) 558-2428
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Red Cross Urges You to Give Blood and Platelets

Wichita, Kan. – Aug. 30, 2011Hurricane Irene packed a punch on the east cost, but the effects of the storm are being felt nationwide.

So far, Hurricane Irene is responsible for the cancellation of more than 60 American Red Cross blood drives. Those cancellations resulted in a loss of more than 2,100 units of blood.

Since storm damage and power outages are expected to cause additional cancellations in the coming days, the Red Cross is urging immediate blood and platelet donations nationwide.

“Right now, there is an immediate need for blood platelets in the Central Plains Region. Platelets are the fragile cells that control bleeding and can be used by cancer patients and those undergoing chemotherapy,” said Terri Dunaway, CEO. “Platelets have a shelf-life of just five days, so they must constantly be replenished.”

Locally, people may give blood at the Wichita Blood Donor Center, 707 N. Main, Wichita, Kan. at the following days and times during the Labor Day Weekend:  
Thursday, Sept. 1 from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 2 from 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 3 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Monday, Sept. 5, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

To find a blood drive near you, go to and enter your zip code.

Your blood donation will help boost the Labor Day weekend blood supply, as well. In fact, it could give your gas tank a boost. Anyone who presents to donate blood with the Red Cross Sept. 2-7 (Friday-Wednesday) is automatically entered into a drawing for a $1,000 gas card.

If you donate between Sept. 2 and Sept. 11, Red Cross Racing will give you 75 bonus points for reporting an online donation. Learn more at These points may be exchanged for Red Cross or Best Buy merchandise.

Nationwide, around 44,000 blood donations are needed every day to meet the needs of accident victims, cancer patients and children with blood disorders. These patients and others rely on blood products during their treatment.

How to Donate Whole Blood:
Call 1-800 RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit for more information or to make an appointment. Walk-ins are also welcome. All blood types are needed to ensure the Red Cross maintains an adequate blood supply. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Donors must be in general good health, weigh at least 110 pounds and be at least 17 years old (16 in Kansas with completed Parental Consent Form). New height and weight restrictions apply to donors 18 and younger. 

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit

Hurricane Irene Update:
The American Red Cross has launched relief operations in more than a dozen coastal states. The cost of this response is expected to be in the millions. People who can help are encouraged to click, text tor call to make a donation. Visit, call 1-800 RED CROSS or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to our local Red Cross chapter – Midway Kansas Chapter, American Red Cross, 1900 E. Douglas, Wichita, KS 67214.


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