NEW YORK, N.Y. – New York Blood Center (NYBC), serving more than 20 million people in New York City, Long Island, the Hudson Valley, and New Jersey, projects a total cumulative shortfall of up to 12,000 units in the next 30 days because of storm damage to locations where blood is collected.
To counter this shortage, NYBC urges donors to visit www.nybloodcenter.org to find locations where they can give blood.
Though hospital needs continue to be met, and donors are turning out at blood drives and donor centers, the unprecedented and continuing disruption remains of great concern.
“We are so thankful that donors are answering our call, and also appreciate the news media’s help in getting out the word,” said NYBC Vice President Rob Purvis. “Here’s the problem: blood drives are still being cancelled at the schools, churches, and workplaces that were damaged. We need to pick up the slack to a degree we’ve never had to before, and that’s why we’re so urgently asking our communities for help.”
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, and the odds of someone needing a blood transfusion over their lifetime is one in three.
“Hurricane Sandy and our continuing disruptions are roadblocks we just have to get past, for the sake of our community blood supply,” Purvis said. “Our neighbors always come through for hospital patients with leukemia, cancer, and accident trauma. 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.
Blood donors receive free mini-medical exams on site including information about their temperature, blood pressure and hematocrit level. Eligible donors include those people at least age 16 (with parental permission), who weigh a minimum of 110 pounds, are in good health and meet all Food & Drug Administration and NY or NJ State Department of Health donor criteria. People over 75 may donate with a doctor’s note.
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