‘Sandy’ causing blood shortfalls on East Coast

The effects of Hurricane Sandy have forced the cancellation of more than 300 American Red Cross blood drives in 14 states along the East Coast, Red Cross officials say, resulting in a shortfall of more than 9,000 units of blood and platelets so far.

The shortfall is expected to grow as Sandy is causing power outages and flooding in many areas. All eligible donors in unaffected parts of the country are being asked to give blood or platelets.

All blood types are needed to ensure an adequate blood supply is available during a disaster, especially type O positive, O negative, A negative or B negative blood, Red Cross officials say.

Red Cross blood drives in Huntington County this month include:

• Monday, Nov. 12, from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Evangelical United Methodist Church, 1000 Flaxmill Road in Huntington.  Visit redcrossblood. org and enter sponsor code "evanumc" to schedule a blood donation appointment.

• Wednesday, Nov. 14, from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. at Huntington University's Habecker Dining Hall, located at 2303 College Ave. in Huntington. Donors will be entered into a drawing for a $50 shopping spree. Visit redcross blood.org and enter sponsor code "HU" to schedule a blood donation appointment.

• Wednesday, Nov. 21, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the fitness room of the Parkview Huntington Family YMCA, 1160W-500N, Huntington. Donors will be entered to win a three-month membership to the YMCA. To schedule a donation appointment, visit redcrossblood.org and enter sponsor code "ymc ahunt."

A blood donor card, driver's license or two other forms of identification is required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.