Flooding dries up Red Cross blood supply

PHILADELPHIA, PA.; September 12, 2011

The Red Cross says the 2 storms resulted in the cancellation of 147 blood drives to date. That has created a shortfall of more than 4,700 units of blood up and down the East Coast. Locally, 50 blood drives were canceled, leaving a shortage of 1,750 units of blood.

The Red Cross says inventories of blood and platelets were already low because of the summer lull before the storms hit.

It is asking anyone who can to make an immediate appointment to give blood or platelets. Call 1-800-RED-CROSS, or go to redcrossblood.org.

The Red Cross is also facing labor problems this week. the Health Professionals and Allied Employees (HPAE local 1503) notified the organization of its plan to stop work a 6:00 A.M. on September 16. The union represents 240 employees who collect blood, care for donors at blood drives. and maintain records for the blood services unit.

The two sides have another negotiating session set for this week.

The blood workers went on strike in late May, returning in mid-June for a 90-day cooling-off period.

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