Feb 13 2005
The blood inventory of New York Blood Center, the majority supplier of blood to New York and New Jersey hospitals, has dropped to crisis proportions.
Therefore, New York Blood Center has issued an urgent appeal to all potential blood donors and blood drive organizers. People are being urged to call 1-800-933-BLOOD or go to http://www.nybloodcenter.org/ to schedule immediate donations and drives in New York City, Long Island, the Hudson Valley and New Jersey. Donors can also donate at a local hospital if it has a donor room.
Donations have been sluggish ever since New Year's, report New York Blood Center officials, and grew worse as a result of January's snowstorm that cancelled many blood drives. "But now we have only 300 Type O Negative units of blood, 200 Type A Negative units, a little less than 100 Type B Negative units and just 2,000 Type O Positive units," explains Dr. Robert Jones, New York Blood Center President & CEO. "That doesn't come anywhere close to the 12,000 donations we need each week. Currently we simply don't have enough blood on hand to ensure the transfusion health of the millions of people in our community."
Some donors this winter have been deferred due to increased colds and flus as well as several new Food & Drug Administration donor deferrals. But less than 2% of eligible people donate in the New York and New Jersey area, which is far behind the national average, Dr. Jones points out. "Without increased donations, hospitals simply won't have the required blood needed for patients on their shelves," concluded Jones.
Eligible blood donors are between the ages of 17 to 75 (or older with a doctor's written permission), weigh a minimum of 110 pounds and in good health. All donors receive a free mini medical exam including a check of their pulse rate, blood pressure, temperature and hemoglobin content to determine donor suitability.
New York Blood Center is the nation's largest non-profit, community-based, independent blood center. Through its five regional operations, New York Blood Center has been providing life-saving transfusion products and services to area hospitals since 1964.
New York Blood Center's regional operations include:
- Brooklyn/Staten Island Blood Services, which distributes blood products to hospitals in Brooklyn & Staten Island;
- Hudson Valley Blood Services, which distributes blood products to hospitals in the Bronx and the lower Hudson Valley;
- Long Island Blood Services, which distributes blood products to hospitals in Queens, Nassau & Suffolk;
- New Jersey Blood Services, which distributes blood products to hospitals in northern and central New Jersey;
- New York Blood Services, which distributes blood products to hospitals in Manhattan.