Cancelled blood drives and reduced donor turnout due to the COVID-19 pandemic have resulted in substantially fewer blood donations than what is needed to meet the needs of patients in the hospitals served by New York Blood Center.
“Every donation at every blood drive is critical,” said Christopher D. Hillyer, MD, President and CEO of New York Blood Center. “As healthy, eligible donors, we have a responsibility to our neighbors to keep the blood supply safe and robust. A resilient healthcare system is more important than ever and we’re counting on everyone to help maintain that.”
NYBC is reminding the public that it is safe to donate blood — the staff are trained in universal precautions to help prevent the risk of spreading infectious agents and they regularly clean the surfaces used during donation. People are not eligible to donate if they’re experiencing a cold, sore throat, respiratory infection or flu-like symptoms, and donors are encouraged to refrain from donating or attending a blood drive if they have traveled to areas with COVID-19 outbreaks, as defined by the CDC, or come into contact with anyone who has a confirmed case of COVID-19.
Donated blood is perishable, and hospitals must have access to a continuous supply to ensure that all patients can receive the life-saving blood they need when it counts. Platelets— a component of blood that’s especially important for cancer patients—are in particularly high demand because they have a five-day shelf life.
Make an appointment to donate blood:
Host a blood drive in your community:
Blood donation and COVID-19 safety protocols:
For more information, contact the New York Blood Center:
https://nybloodcenter.org • 1-800-933-2566