As Hurricane Ian reaches Florida and moves throughout the Southeast with dangerous storm surges, winds and flooding, the AABB Interorganizational Task Force on Domestic Disasters and Acts of Terrorism strongly urges eligible individuals in unaffected areas throughout the United States to schedule a blood or platelet donation appointment as soon as possible. These donations are essential to maintaining a stable and adequate supply of blood and platelets in the coming days, which can help save lives and ensure patient needs continue to be met. The need for platelets is particularly urgent, given that they have a limited shelf life of five days and that the expected breadth and duration of the storm will likely impact large sections of the Southeast.
On average, blood collection organizations nationwide had only 1-2 days’ worth supply of blood supply heading into the storm. Anticipated disruptions in blood collections – as well as transportation challenges – in Florida and the Southeast throughout the next several days are likely to exacerbate already low inventories, particularly in the affected areas.
The Task Force activated on Tuesday to take steps to secure the nation’s blood supply. Blood collection organizations throughout the country have already mobilized and are supporting blood collection organizations in Florida with much-needed blood products and are prepared to continue doing so as long as necessary.
“We are asking all eligible individuals in areas unaffected by this powerful storm to donate blood or platelets now to ensure that every patient who needs this life-saving resource will have it,” said John Hagins, chair of the Task Force. “There is no substitute for blood and no time to waste. Without these donations, lives could be at risk.”
The Task Force will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as blood needs change throughout the next week.
Those interested in donating blood may contact the following organizations to find a local blood collection site and to schedule an appointment:
AABB: www.wheretodonateblood.org; +1.301.907.6977
America’s Blood Centers: www.americasblood.org; +1.202.393.5725
American Red Cross: www.redcrossblood.org; +1.800.RED CROSS (+1.800.733.2767)
Armed Services Blood Program: www.militaryblood.dod.mil; +1.703.681.8024
About the Task Force
The AABB Interorganizational Task Force on Domestic Disasters and Acts of Terrorism was formed in January 2002 to help make certain that blood collection efforts resulting from domestic disasters and acts of terrorism are managed properly and to deliver clear and consistent messages to the public regarding the status of America’s blood supply. The Task Force is composed of representatives from U.S. blood services, associations and commercial entities, as well as liaisons from governmental agencies, who work together in an effort to ensure that safe and adequate blood product inventories are in place at all times in preparation for disasters. In addition, the Task Force operates as a mechanism to assess the need for collections and/or transportation of blood should a disaster occur.
AABB serves as the designated coordinating entity for the Task Force. In addition to AABB, members include AdvaMed, America’s Blood Centers, American Hospital Association, American Red Cross, Blood Centers of America, College of American Pathologists, National Marrow Donor Program/Be The Match and the Plasma Protein Therapeutics Association. Liaisons from the following government agencies also participate in Task Force discussions: Armed Services Blood Program and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which includes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Food and Drug Administration.