Hurricane Sandy Creates Blood Emergency

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STATE — New Jersey Blood Services (NJBS), a division of New York Blood Center (NYBC), serving more than 20 million people in New York City, Long Island, the Hudson Valley, and New Jersey, is asking for post-hurricane emergency blood donations.

Though hospital needs were met, and heroic donors found the NYBC facilities that were able to remain open, the unprecedented disruption depleted the blood supply to the point where a significant recovery effort is necessary.

“We anticipated some of the potential effects of Hurricane Sandy, and delivered blood in advance to our 200 partner hospitals,” said NYBC Vice President Rob Purvis. “Our first priority remains getting them whatever they need for the care of patients, including the surgeries that had to be delayed last week. Plus – with the holiday season right around the corner – we’re in a tough spot,” Purvis added. “We need the help of our communities to recover and replenish the blood supply.”

The need for blood is constant, whatever the weather or holiday. The shelf life of platelets is only five days; the shelf life of red blood cells is 42 days. About one in seven people entering a hospital needs blood.

“We’ve faced similar situations before, though admittedly not as bad as Hurricane Sandy,” Purvis said. “Our neighbors came through for hospital patients then, and replenished the blood supply. We need them to step up again, and schedule an appointment to donate life-saving blood.”

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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