2003-03-22 / Community

Blood And Platelet Donors Needed

Blood And Platelet Donors Needed

Intensely cold weather and several major snowstorms reduced blood and platelet donations to Long Island Blood Services (LIBS) this winter, so LIBS officials are urging people to donate now to help meet local hospital patient demand for life-saving transfusions.

"We are forced to import blood from other parts of the nation for local hospital patients, but those imports may not always be available," explained Dr. James Louie, LIBS’ Executive Director. "For a variety of reasons, collecting blood on Long Island is more challenging than in other parts of the nation. Our current donation rates are still below pre-9/11 rates and, more importantly, below patient de­mand."

Factors contributing to the recent donor drop-off include inclement weather, the declining local economy, which has resulted in massive layoffs, and new blood donor criteria guidelines that have eliminated about 10% of local donors. "But patients in Long Island hospitals still need 750 pints of life-saving blood each day. That requires regular replenishment to ensure a safe and adequate supply of blood is always available," Louie concluded.

Donors must be at least 17, weigh a minimum of 110 pounds and be in good general health. For information on where you can conveniently donate on Long Island, call Long Island Blood Services toll-free at 1-800-933-BLOOD (2566) or you can visit www.nybloodcenter.org, where you can also schedule a convenient donation appointment online.

Long Island Blood Services is a division of New York Blood Center, the nation’s largest community-based non-profit blood collection and distribution organization. Long Island Blood Services has been providing life-saving blood products and services to 50 hospitals throughout Nassau, Suffolk, and Queens for close to 40 years.

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