New York Blood Center (NYBC) has declared a blood emergency. The organization is asking people across New York City, the Hudson Valley, Long Island and New Jersey to donate blood to help replenish the blood supply for hospitals throughout the area.
In order to maintain a safe blood supply, a seven-day inventory of all blood types must be continually replenished. Right now, reserves are below that minimum. These low levels are particularly dangerous leading into summer months, when people are less likely to donate blood as schools go on summer break and families take vacations. The best preparation for life-threatening situations is having blood on hospital shelves in advance.
“Every single day, blood donations help save lives—and right now, the need is critical,” said Andrea Cefarelli, Senior Executive Director of Donor Recruitment for New York Blood Center. “We’re calling on everyone to do what they can to spread the word, host a blood drive or simply take an hour out of their day to donate.”
Community members are encouraged to find time to donate blood at a NYBC donor center or convenient mobile blood drive, especially donors with O negative and B negative blood types. O negative blood donors are considered “universal,” and their blood type is needed most readily in trauma situations and emergency rooms across the country. B negative is a particularly rare blood type.
Companies, organizations and community groups are also encouraged to host a blood drive this summer to help rebuild the blood supply, especially during the months of July and August.
In just 60 minutes, you can donate one pint of blood and save a life. About one in seven hospital admissions requires a blood transfusion, and with a limited shelf life, supplies must be continually replenished. Those in need include: cancer patients, accident, burn or trauma victims, newborn babies and their mothers, transplant recipients, surgery patients, chronically transfused patients suffering from sickle cell disease or thalassemia and many more.
There are many ways to help bring awareness to the need for blood, simply by donating blood or platelets at a donor center or at a mobile blood drive. You can also host a blood drive in your community or at your organization and educate others in your family, community and organization about blood donations. Promoting the cause on social media is a great way to be seen and heard as well.
For more information on where to donate or how to set up a blood drive, visit www.nybloodcenter.org/blood or call 1-800-933-2566.