Nassau County, NY - September 9, 2014 - Now that students are back in classes and employers are getting back up to post-holiday speed, New York Blood Center (NYBC) continues its emergency blood appeal to donor chairpersons, reporting that community supplies of all types of donor blood – especially O-negative “universal donors” blood – are at critically low levels.
“More than one-quarter of our community’s blood supply comes from high school and college blood drives,” said NYBC’s Executive Director of Donor Recruitment Andrea Cefarelli. “We’re trying to schedule as many school drives as we can, but our inventory demonstrates why we need to ask for more.”
“While we’re confident in our ability to supply our partner hospitals, it’s critical that we all pitch in by donating blood to ensure that supplies aren’t further diminished in the days and weeks ahead,” said NYBC Chief Medical Officer Dr. Beth Shaz. “When you give blood, you give the gift of life. So in this time of need, add blood donation to your back-to-school checklist!”
Each and every day there are patients who depend on the transfusion of red blood cells, platelets and plasma to stay alive– including those with cancer, leukemia, and victims of accidents and other traumas. But blood and blood products can only come from volunteer blood donors who take an hour or so out of their busy schedule to attend a blood drive or visit a donor center. With a limited shelf life, blood supplies must be continually replenished.
Some Facts to Keep in Mind About Our Blood Supply:
- Blood has a limited shelf life of between five and 42 days, which is why the supply needs to be constantly replenished.
- People with O-negative blood are known as “universal donors” because their blood can be transfused to anyone. Type O-negative bloodis found in just six percent of the population, and is often transfused to patients with other blood types in emergency rooms and trauma situations.
- Car accident and trauma victims may need 50 or more blood transfusion
- Police officers can be injured in the line of duty. First responders also face great danger during emergencies
Any company, community organization, place of worship, or individual may host a blood drive. NYBC also offers special community service scholarships for students who organize community blood drives during summer months. Blood donors receive free mini-medical exams on site including information about their temperature, blood pressure and hematocrit level. Eligible donors include those people at least age 16 (with parental permission or consent), 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 over 75 may donate with a doctor’s note.
About New York Blood Center: New York Blood Center (NYBC) is one of the nation's largest non-profit, community-based blood centers. For almost 50 years, NYBC has been providing blood, transfusion products and services to hospitals serving more than 20 million people in New York City, Long Island, the Hudson Valley, New Jersey, and parts of Connecticut and Pennsylvania. NYBC is also home to the Lindsley F. Kimball Research Institute and the National Cord Blood Program, the world's largest public cord blood bank. NYBC provides medical services and programs (Clinical, Transfusion, and Hemophilia Services) through our medical professionals along with consultative services in transfusion medicine.
To donate blood or for information on how to organize a blood drive
Please call Toll Free: 1-800-933-2566
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