Hurricane Sandy has caused the cancellation of 300 Red Cross blood drives in 14 states, according to a statement the organization published Wednesday. And as the storm heads west, more cancellations are expected.
The loss is seen in the thousands. Normally, the Red Cross holds around 600 blood drives a day, Red Cross spokesperson Stephane Millian told CNN.com. The cancellations have resulted in more than 9,000 blood and platelet donations lost, according to the organization’s statement.
The Red Cross assures there is adequate supply for the hard-hit areas, but the power outages have forced more local blood centers to close. Power outages affected 8.1 million homes and businesses, Reuters had reported Tuesday.
The long-term impact is expected to be significant, according to the Red Cross' statement.
"With the power outages, and the flooding in many areas, and some damage, obviously that will result in even more cancellations" probably through the end of the week, Millian told CNN.com. "Hospital patients still need blood and blood products."
Since Sandy hit over the weekend, the Red Cross and other relief organizations have stepped up to help in countless ways.
According to a Wednesday press release, the Red Cross has "provided more than 23,000 overnight shelter stays since Saturday." On Tuesday night, more than 9,000 people reportedly stayed in 171 Red Cross shelters across 13 states.
How You Can Donate Blood:
The Red Cross and America’s Blood Centers are two national organizations that collect the nation’s blood. To find local blood drives in your area visit: redcrossblood.org or americasblood.org.