NEW BRUNSWICK – In response to an increased need for Rh negative blood, New Jersey Blood Services, a division of New York Blood Center (NYBC) is urging its communities to roll up their sleeves, donate blood, and ensure hospital demands continue to be met.
Matt Long, the New York City firefighter currently appearing in a television campaign for New York-Presbyterian, one of NYBC’s top hospital partners, exemplifies the spirit of giving. “As a 16-year veteran of the FDNY, I know how important it is to try to save lives,” Long said. “I’m a firefighter, a blood donor, and a blood recipient. Several years ago I was severely injured in an accident, and needed 68 units of donated blood just to stay alive. Give the gift of life, give blood … you might get it back some day.”
Each and every day there are patients who depend on the transfusion of red blood cells, platelets and plasma to stay alive. Unfortunately, blood and blood products can’t be manufactured. They can only come from volunteer blood donors who take an hour to attend a blood drive or visit a donor center.
“No one tells our story better than Matt,” said NYBC Vice President Rob Purvis. “Over the past several weeks, our hospital demand for Rh negative blood products has gone up, and we need to ask for help. There’s no question of our ability to satisfy the demand, but that only happens because donors come forward when we hit a rough patch. This time of year is a rough patch.”
Here’s the Top Ten Facts About the Spring and Summer Blood Supply:
- People with O-negative blood are known as “universal donors” because their blood can be transfused to anyone.
- Type O-negative blood is found in just six percent of the population, and is often transfused to patients with other blood types in emergency rooms and trauma situations.
- People with Rh negative blood, including A-, B- and O-, comprise just 15% of the population.
- People of all blood types and ethnicities are encouraged to donate, and are critical to maintaining the diversity of Greater New York’s blood supply.
- The months of June, July and August continue to present challenges as schools and colleges close for the summer and employees leave for summer vacations. More than 25% of blood donations collected each year come from our high school and college blood drives.
- Every two seconds, someone needs blood.
- According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), trauma accounts for 37 million emergency department visits and 2.6 million hospital admissions each year, nationwide.
- Car accident and trauma victims may need 50 or more blood transfusions.
- Police officers can be injured in the line of duty. First responders also face great danger during emergencies.
- People can donate one pint of whole blood every 56 days and platelets every three days.
To donate blood or for information on how to organize a blood drive,
call 1-800-933-2566 or visit www.nybloodcenter.org
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