Hey Harlem, New York Blood Center Declares Blood Emergency

January 11, 2024

Today, New York Blood Center (NYBC) joins blood centers across the country in an emergency plea for blood donors following a holiday season of low donor turnout and recent inclement winter weather. 

NYBC has seen a 25% drop in donations in the last three weeks, resulting in 5000 fewer donations, crippling the inventory that was expected to grow during National Blood Donor Month.  There is currently a 1-2-day supply of types O-, O+, and B-, as well as a critical shortage of platelets.

The New York community is not alone; blood emergencies have been declared across the country, indicating that there is no national surplus of blood at this time. Additionally, a recent spike in seasonal illnesses across the region is preventing many from donating. 

“In the midst of the nationwide blood emergency, and in the wake of recent winter storms that have impacted our region, we are calling on eligible New Yorkers to make an immediate blood or platelet donation,” said Andrea Cefarelli, Senior Vice President at New York Blood Center. “After a year of rebounding donations, the recent severe drop in inventory is a stark reminder of the fragility of our nation’s blood supply. This National Blood Donor Month, blood donors are needed more than ever to ensure hospital patients in our community get the lifesaving treatment they need.” 

Blood donors can give every 56 days, and up to 6 times a year. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently lifted several blood donor eligibility restrictions. To view current eligibility guidelines, click here or call 800.688.0900. To make an appointment, donors can call 1-800-933-2566 or visit nybc.org. Can’t donate blood? You can still support NYBC’s mission by texting ‘NYBC’ to ‘20222’ to give $25.

New York Blood Center

Founded in 1964, New York Blood Center (NYBC) is a nonprofit organization that is one of the largest independent, community-based blood centers in the world. NYBC, along with its operating divisions Community Blood Center of Kansas City, Missouri (CBC), Innovative Blood Resources (IBR), Blood Bank of Delmarva (BBD), and Rhode Island Blood Center (RIBC), collect approximately 4,000 units of blood products each day and serve local communities of more than 75 million people in the Tri-State area (NY, NJ, CT), Mid Atlantic area (PA, DE, MD, VA), Missouri and Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, Rhode Island, and Southern New England.

NYBC and its operating divisions also provide a wide array of transfusion-related medical services to over 500 hospitals nationally, including Comprehensive Cell Solutions, the National Center for Blood Group Genomics, the National Cord Blood Program, and the Lindsley F. Kimball Research Institute, which — among other milestones — developed a practical screening method for hepatitis B as well as a safe, effective and affordable vaccine, and a patented solvent detergent plasma process innovating blood-purification technology worldwide. 

Photo credit: HWM

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