The Cal Poly Pomona community can help the American Red Cross replenish blood and platelet supplies depleted in the wake of Hurricane Sandy last week.
The Red Cross is holding a blood drive on campus Nov. 14 & 15, but donors can also contribute blood and platelets immediately at the organization’s Pomona Donor Center at Innovation Village, near South Campus and Kellogg drives.
Hurricane Sandy forced the Red Cross to cancel more than 370 blood drives in 13 states, resulting in a loss of more than 12,500 pints of blood, according to Nick Samaniego, spokesman for the American Red Cross Blood Services Southern California Region.
Red Cross chapters across the country sent blood supplies to the storm-damaged region: For example, the Southern California region sent platelets, red blood cells, Type 0-negative blood and plasma to the East Coast, Samaniego said. But now those Red Cross chapters need blood.
“Really what we’re doing is we’re replenishing our blood supply all across the country,” Samaniego said.
Platelet donations are especially needed because they have a shelf life of only five days, he said.
Prospective donors must be at least 16 with parental consent – forms are on the Red Cross website – or 17 by themselves, he said. The Red Cross asks first-time donors to give whole blood so it can conduct a platelet count, Samaniego said.
The Pomona Donation Center is open seven days a week for donations. Donors should make an appointment by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS, Samaniego said.
The on-campus blood drive will be held at Ursa Minor, Bronco Student Center, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Nov. 14, and 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 15. To make an appointment, go to www.redcrossblood.org and enter “calpoly” as the sponsor code.