June 11, 2014
Blood Supply Needs a Summer Break
O-Negative Blood Reserves a Special Seasonal Challenge
New York Blood Center (NYBC) is asking for help over the summer to maintain an adequate supply of all blood types, but especially O-negative. In addition, hundreds of additional blood drives need to be scheduled to meet projected hospital demand.
People with O-negative blood are known as “universal donors” because their
blood can be transfused into anyone. It is found in just six percent of the population, and is transfused to patients in emergency rooms and trauma situations when there is no time for blood typing.
“Summer is a really challenging time of year for us,” said NYBC Executive Director of Donor Recruitment Andrea Cefarelli. “Schools are out, people go on vacation, and the focus is on everything BUT giving blood. Hospital patients don’t get summer vacations, and we need to be there for them – both as donors and as blood drive organizers.”
Fortunately – with the very significant exception of O-negative blood – supplies are strong, and NYBC is confident of its ability to provide its 200 partner hospitals with whatever they need. “We just can’t do it alone,” said Cefarelli. “We need our communities to roll up their sleeves, and to help us schedule additional blood drives.”
Each and every day there are patients who depend on the transfusion of red blood cells, platelets and plasma to stay alive. But 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.
To donate blood or for information on how to organize a blood drive
Please call Toll Free: 1-800-933-2566
If you cannot donate but still wish to participate in bringing crucial blood products to patients in need, please ask someone to donate for you, or consider volunteering at a local blood drive.
Any company, community organization, place of worship, or individual may host a blood drive. NYBC also offers special community service scholarships for students who organize community blood drives during summer months. 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 or consent), 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.
About New York Blood Center
Now celebrating its 50th anniversary, New York Blood Center (NYBC) is one of the largest independent, community-based blood centers in the country. Each year, NYBC provides approximately one million blood products to nearly 200 hospitals in the Northeast. NYBC also provides a wide array of transfusion-related medical services. NYBC is also home to the world’s largest public cord blood bank, which provides stem cells for transplant in many countries, and a renowned research institute, which – among other milestones -- developed the Hepatitis B vaccine and innovative blood purification technology. NYBC Website: www.nybloodcenter.org