CBC issues urgent call for blood, platelet donors ahead of Hurricane Ian

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FILE(Vince Little/ U.S. Army)
Published: Sep. 28, 2022 at 1:18 PM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, Kan. (WIBW) - The Community Blood Center has issued an urgent call for blood and platelet donors ahead of Hurricane Ian’s landfall.

The Community Blood Center says it is in immediate need of blood and platelet donors. It said Florida blood centers have reached out nationally for help ahead of Hurricane Ian’s landfall and it was able to support - in part - by sending blood products.

However, CBC said it needs additional donors as soon as possible in order to continue to meet local needs and additional needs that may be called for in Florida during the aftermath of the hurricane. It said the help would be invaluable.

As the nation awaits the landfall of Hurricane Ian, CBC also said it is in the midst of a severe platelet shortage. It said platelets are often used to treat blood disorders, cancer patients undergoing chemo, and accident victims. They have a shelf life of up to 7 days - which means they are always in high demand.

CBC noted that it requires at least 100 platelet donations each day in order to meet local needs and recently, donations have been critically low which has left the inventory unstable.

“Local blood and platelet usage is far outpacing the number of donations we are seeing day-to-day,” said Patsy Shipley, Executive Director of Community Blood Center. “As we continue to work diligently to ensure that patient need is met, we are pleading with community members to please consider the life-saving act of blood and platelet donation.”

Additionally, CBC indicated that blood centers in Florida have reached out to blood centers across the nation to ask for help meeting patient needs. These centers anticipate the aftermath of the hurricane to prevent them from being able to collect products in their area.

CBC noted that it was able to provide about 10% of the requested blood products and needs the community’s help to replenish its supply ASAP.

According to CBC, an ample platelet supply is crucial to hospitals’ ability to meet patient needs. It said the latest shortage amidst an ongoing shortage of blood has added additional volatility to an already unstable supply.

Additoinally, CBC said there is no national surplus of platelets at this time and it must rely on local donors to help meet the need.

In an effort to boost donations, CBC said all presenting donors throughout the month of September will be entered into a drawing to win tickets to an October or November Chiefs home game.