Officials at Miller-Keystone Blood Center (MKBC) today confirmed that they are accepting blood donations to bolster blood supplies in the Texas region ravaged by Hurricane Harvey, now Tropical Storm Harvey.
“Over the past several days, Harvey has caused mass destruction and forced evacuations throughout Houston and the surrounding region,” said Debra Otto, Director of Donor Resources, MKBC. “This is preventing blood centers in the path of the storm from collecting blood supplies necessary for lifesaving transfusions at hospitals based in and around the Houston community.”
Ms. Otto confirmed that blood centers across the nation, including Miller-Keystone Blood Center, are working with ABC (America’s Blood Centers) and BCx (The Community Blood Centers’ Exchange) to support blood supplies in Texas at this time. Other blood centers in Texas are serving as blood depots to receive shipments from across the U.S., and Health and Human Services is arranging transportation in to the Houston area for blood products.
“Harvey continues to wreak havoc and will potentially for several more days,” she said, noting that blood donations will not only be required today or tomorrow, but will be needed for the foreseeable future until blood centers affected by Hurricane Harvey are fully operational again.
“The mission of Miller-Keystone Blood Center is to save lives,” Ms. Otto said. “Whether it be here in our local community or on a national scale, Miller-Keystone is prepared to assist in any way we can and for as long as required, to ensure for the transfusion demands of those in need.”
Ms. Otto urged all eligible donors - and particularly platelet donors, O-negative whole blood donors and AB plasma donors - to make an appointment this week. Platelets are critical to support many patients,especially those on chemotherapy, while type O-negative blood and AB plasma can be safely transfused to anyone regardless of blood type, and is frequently used in emergency situations.
“It is imperative that donors give blood over the next one-to-two weeks to meet the transfusion needs of our regional hospitals, as well as assist in efforts to support those in areas affected by Harvey,” she said.“We are asking all eligible blood donors and first-time donors to roll up their sleeves and give the gift of life.”
To schedule an appointment at any MKBC donor center call 800-B-A-DONOR (223-6667). Individuals may also visit the MKBC’s website at donor.GIVEaPINT.org/donor/schedules/zip for the most up-to-date listing of blood drives in their community.