New York Blood Center (NYBC) has declared a blood emergency in New York. That is why Legislator Howard J. Kopel is joining with New York Blood Center to ask the public to please find time to donate blood at a NYBC donor center or convenient blood drive to help replenish the community’s blood supply. Recent national tragedies are reminders that it is imperative for NYBC to always have an adequately stocked blood supply to respond when communities are faced with patient traumas or other events that require life-saving blood products.
In order to maintain a safe blood supply a seven-day inventory of all types must be continually replenished. Companies, organizations, and community groups are also encouraged to step up to host a blood drive in July or August to help rebuild the blood supply. Hosting a blood drive is easy and NYBC’s staff will help you every step of the way.
To donate blood or for information on how to organize a blood drive please call Toll Free: 1-800-933-2566 or Visit: www.nybloodcenter.org/blood
O negative blood donors are considered “universal,” and their blood type is needed most readily in trauma situations and emergency departments across the country. Due to its high demand, O negative blood is in short supply and NYBC encourages individuals with this blood type to consider stepping forward and donate today. Our local blood supply has reached a critically low level, with under a two-day supply of O negative, B negative, and A negative.
As we head into the summer months, we are reminded of how essential it is that our community maintains steady participation in blood donation. The best preparation for an unpredictable tragedy is having blood on hospital shelves in advance. This is key to potentially saving lives.
“By spreading the word or even hosting your own blood drive, inviting friends, family, and community organizations, you may save lives in your community,” said Andrea Cefarelli, Executive Director of NYBC. “We are in dire need of O negative blood with a reserve that is currently below a two day supply, and that is just too low.”
Historically, during the summer months, blood centers have had to focus on building up the community’s blood supply, as it tends to diminish due to seasonal factors. While summer months are marked by a long vacation period, with schools in recess and leisure time, the need for blood never takes a vacation. NYBC urges individuals to seek out nearby blood donation centers and to engage in the selfless act of donating, helping to prevent a summer blood shortage and potentially saving the life of someone in need.
More About Blood Donations
The entire donation process takes less than an hour and a single donation can be used to save multiple lives. Donors with O-negative blood type, or “universal donors,” are especially encouraged to donate, as their blood can be used in emergencies. Nearly 2,000 donations are needed each day in New York and New Jersey alone. About one in seven hospital admissions requires a blood transfusion, and with a limited shelf life, supplies must be continually
Eligible donors include those people at least age 16 (parental consent is required for 16-year-olds), 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 age 76 or older may donate if they have a doctor’s note on file with New York Blood Center or if they bring one on the day of the blood drive.
About New York Blood Center
Now more than 50 years old, New York Blood Center (NYBC) is a nonprofit organization that is one of the largest independent, community-based blood centers in the country. NYBC’s mission is to serve the 20 million people in the New York metropolitan area — and more broadly, our nation and our world — by alleviating human suffering and preserving human life using our medical expertise.
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.
For more information, visit the New York Blood Center online at: www.nybc.org