The New York Blood Center (NYBC) and the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB) are calling for increased blood donations as Hurricane Florence makes landfall in North Carolina.
“We are calling on all New Yorkers and their neighbors across the tristate area to donate blood and platelets today and over the weekend as Hurricane Florence leaves many Americans in danger,” said a spokesperson for NYBC. “In emergency situations, local blood supplies often reach critical lows and blood centers across the country are relied upon to help fill in the gaps. A continuous blood supply is vital to ensure that all areas, hospitals and patients impacted by the hurricane have access to the emergency blood they need. Now is the time for everyone to step up—and by taking one hour to donate blood, you can help save a life.”
Donated blood is perishable; red cells last for 42 days, platelets (a component of blood that’s especially important for cancer patients) last for five days, and plasma can be frozen for up to a year. In order to maintain a safe blood supply, a seven-day inventory of all blood types must be continually replenished.
You may donate if you are in good health, are at least 17 years old (16 years old with written consent from parent or legal guardian) and weigh at least 110 pounds. Donors over age 76 must have a letter from a physician.
For more information on where to donate or how to set up your own drive, visit www.nybloodcenter.org/blood or call 800-933-2566.