The local region requires 900 donations daily to keep patients alive, according to Red Cross communications manager Marianne Spampinato.
Nearly 300 blood drives were canceled due to Hurricane Sandy, she said. These drives were projected to collect 700 units of blood.
“This has the potential to really impact patient care,” Spampinato said.
The Red Cross Greater Alleghenies Blood Services Region is a 100-county region, including Somerset County — and some regions heavily affected by the storm. The region includes West Virginia, Virginia and Maryland.
“We need to be collecting all the time,” she said.
Hospitalized patients, accident victims, cancer patients and children with blood disorders require blood regardless of the weather, she said. But people in these severely affected regions cannot make the trip to the blood bank and must rely on residents in Somerset County and elsewhere to make up the difference.
Spampinato said blood is highly perishable. It can last five days, but testing takes approximately two days. Blood cannot be administered until day three.
“We really need blood and platelet donors to come in as soon as they are able to,” she said.
The closest blood donor center is the Johnstown American Red Cross at 250 Jari Dr., Johnstown. Walk-in blood donations are accepted.