Superstorm Sandy took out power, down trees, canceled classes and meetings and flights galore. But she also sent some unexpected disruptions. The Red Cross says the storm forced it to cancel about 300 blood drives. And it’s not sure yet what might be the long term impacts of those lost donations and power outages. Here’s what Red Cross chief medical officer Dr. Richard Benjamin said on their web site about what is known:
So far, the cancellations have resulted in a shortfall of more than 9,000 blood and platelet donations across 14 states that would otherwise be available for those needing transfusions. The situation may worsen as the storm continues to move and in its aftermath.
So, if you can, schedule a donation as soon as you can. Your never know where or when you or a loved one might need blood.
There are bound to be lots of other unexpected disruptions, health-related and otherwise. Thank goodness Rhode Island hospitals weren’t faced with the prospect of evacuating critical patients in the dark, wind, and rain like New York City’s Langone medical center. Yikes. But I can tell you that they do practice evacuations in the stairways and halls, assuming elevators aren’t working. I talked to a patient safety coordinator at Women and Infants Hospital about this once, and she told me they practiced with special sleds to whisk patients down stairs.