With the end of summer quickly approaching, New York Blood Center is encouraging blood donors to set aside one hour to give the gift of life and strengthen our community’s blood supply. The summer months are traditionally a challenging time for blood centers to collect donated units – school breaks, summer vacations, and warm weather all have negative impacts on blood drive scheduling and donor attendance. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please visit nybloodcenter.org or call (800) 933-BLOOD.
We all know the need for blood never takes a holiday. About 4.5 million Americans receive blood transfusions every year, and nearly 2,000 donations are needed each day in New York and New Jersey alone. One in seven hospital admissions will need a blood transfusion, including cancer and surgery patients, trauma and burn victims, newborn babies and new mothers.
“We’re encouraging everyone who is eligible to roll up their sleeves and donate,” said Andrea Cefarelli, Executive Director of Recruitment at New York Blood Center. “Summer blood donations help prevent a shortage, allowing us to continue providing life-saving units to patients and hospitals.”
Donors with O-negative blood type, or “universal donors,” are especially encouraged to donate, as their blood can be used in emergency situations when there is no time for blood typing.
There is no substitute for blood donations. Blood products have a limited shelf life, and supplies must be continually replenished.
A single donation can help save at least three lives when the blood is separated into its components: red blood cells, plasma and platelets. Red blood cells, for example, are used to make up for blood lost – car accident victims may need as many as 50 or more red cell transfusions. Plasma and platelets, on the other hand, contain clotting factors to help stop bleeding. They are used to treat patients with blood diseases and patients undergoing chemotherapy or a bone marrow transplant.
Any company, community organization, place of worship, or individual may host a blood drive. 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 (parental consent is required for 16-year-olds), 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 age 76 or older 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. NYBC’s mission is to serve the 20 million people in the New York metropolitan area—and more broadly, our nation and our world—by alleviating human suffering and preserving human life.
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.
For more information, please visit us online at nybloodcenter.org