Impact Of Hurricanes Irma, Harvey Felt In New England Blood Collection Efforts

BOSTON (CBS) – New England was spared the wind, rain and flooding from hurricanes Harvey and Irma. But the massive storms are impacting the region in a different way.

Richard Kaufman, the medical director of the Brigham and Women’s blood bank, said the storms have caused shortages in blood.

“Unfortunately, the hurricanes have disrupted both the ability to collect blood as well as in some cases the ability to transport blood around that’s already been donated,” Kaufman told WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Ben Parker.

Kaufman said there is a constant need for blood, but particularly following storms like Harvey and Irma.

“There are various times of the year where we find donations will drop, so there will be localized and episodic shortages,” Kaufman said. “One of those times is around summer vacations, and unfortunately when we have severe weather disruptions like with the hurricanes we’re also seeing drops in blood donations.”

For more information on donating blood at the Brigham and Women’s bank, donors can call (617) 632-3206. Donations go to patients being treated at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute or Brigham aand Women’s Hospital.

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