New York’s blood supply has never been lower, and New York Blood Center (NYBC) is urgently calling for donors. There has been a significant decline in regular blood donors, and the region’s supply has reached critically low levels. In order to maintain a safe blood supply, a seven-day inventory of all blood types must be continually replenished. Right now, reserves are below that minimum.
NYBC cited the following factors, which have led to the current shortage:
- Decline in overall donor base
- Decline in first-time donors
- Decline in high school and college donors
- Increased demand for blood products
“New York’s blood supply has never been lower than it is right now. We’re in a very critical time as the donor base continues to decline yet the patient need is constant,” said Andrea Cafarelli, Senior Executive Director Donor Recruitment & Marketing at the New York Blood Center. “Blood is perishable so we need to constantly replenish the supply in order to treat trauma victims as well as people suffering from chronic conditions and those undergoing routine surgeries. We need to ensure a robust blood supply so we can always stay prepared and keep our city safe.”
It only takes one hour to donate, and a single donation can be used to save multiple lives. Nearly 2,000 donations are needed each day in New York and New Jersey alone. About one in seven hospital admissions requires a blood transfusion, and with a limited shelf life, supplies must be continually replenished.
Those in need include cancer patients, accident, burn, or trauma victims, newborn babies and their mothers, transplant recipients, surgery patients, chronically transfused patients suffering from sickle cell disease or thalassemia, and many more. Donors with O-negative blood type, or “universal donors,” are especially encouraged to donate, as their blood can be used in emergencies.
How to help:
- Donate blood or platelets at a donor center.
- Donate at a mobile blood drive.
- Host a blood drive in your community or at your organization.
- Educate others in your family, community, and organization about blood donations, and encourage them to donate themselves and/or host a blood drive.
- Promote the need for blood donors on social media.
For more information on where to donate or how to set up your own drive, visit www.nybloodcenter.org/blood or call 1-800-933-2566.
Appointments are encouraged, but walk-ins are welcome. To schedule an appointment to donate, call NYBC at (800) 933-2566 or visit www.nybc.org.
Photo credit: Blood donation via Wikipedia.