Plainview, NY - January 30, 2015 - New York Blood Center (NYBC) is urgently asking blood donors to roll up their sleeves and help rebuild our community's blood supply. While winter storm Juno may have caused more panic than actual snowfall, shutdowns in roadways and public transportation led to a mass cancelation of blood drives across our region between Monday and Thursday as we prepared for the storm and its aftermath. NYBC estimates 3,000 scheduled donations have been lost - the largest single loss since Superstorm Sandy.
With nearly 2,000 donations needed each day in New York and New Jersey alone, it is crucial for donors to set aside an hour to donate. Those with O-negative blood type, or "universal donors," are especially encouraged to donate, as their blood can be used in emergencies. About one in seven hospital admissions requires a blood transfusion, and with a limited shelf life, supplies must be continually replenished.
"There are zero blood drives today, and our donors centers are closed - which is an anomaly," said Andrea Cefarelli, Executive Director of Donor Recruitment at NYBC. "We urge everyone to schedule a blood or platelet donation soon by calling us or visiting our website. Now is the time to make a difference."
"Thankfully, we were able to anticipate the blood drive cancelations, and our hospital partners have received the life-saving supplies they needed for the worst parts of the storm - Monday and Tuesday," said Rob Purvis, NYBC Vice President of Customer Service. "However, it is essential that donors come together in order to raise our levels back to pre-storm so that we can continue supplying the hospitals that serve our communities."
To donate blood or platelets or for information on how to organize a blood drive, please call (800) 933-BLOOD (2566) or visit us online.
The entire donation process takes less than an hour, and a single donation can be used to save multiple lives. Blood donors will receive a free mini-medical exam on site including information about their temperature, blood pressure, pulse and hematocrit level. Eligible donors include those people at least age 16 (parental consent required for 16-year-olds), who weigh a minimum of 110 pounds, are in good health and meet all Food & Drug Administration and NY State Department of Health donor criteria. People 76 or over 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 (NYBC)
Now more than 50 years old, 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.