2004-06-25 / Community

Blood In Short Supply, Center Urges Participation

Blood In Short Supply, Center Urges Participation

Despite a plea last month for increased volunteer blood donations, and public support from NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg last week, response has been slow forcing New York Blood Center to declare an official emergency appeal for blood effective immediately, it was announced today.

Individual donors and organizations are being urged to call New York Blood Center at 1-800-933-BLOOD or go to www.nybloodcenter.org to schedule convenient donation appointments or blood drives in New York City, Long Island, New Jersey or the Hudson Valley.

"We have a critical shortage of donors and blood drives scheduled for this summer and as a result project the worst blood shortage ever for July and August," reported Dr. Robert Jones, New York Blood Center President & CEO. "In fact our blood supply of some types is already dwindling, and we were forced to begin rationing distribution of B Negative blood to area hospitals last week. By early July we project our inventory will drop below 5,000 pints, which is less than half of what we minimally need to meet hospital demand for blood in New York and New Jersey."

Nationwide someone needs a transfusion every few seconds. In the New York/New Jersey metropolitan community alone, 2,000 donations are needed daily for surgery, trauma and cancer patients as well as other emergency needs. "Without an adequate supply of blood, health care delivery and patient care could be severely compromised this summer," pointed out Kenneth E. Raske, President, Greater New York Hospital Association.

Blood donors must be at least age 17, weigh a minimum of 110 pounds and in good health. All donors benefit from a free mini medical exam including review of their pulse rate, blood pressure, iron count and temperature.

New York Blood Center (NYBC), established in 1964, is one of the nation’s largest community-based, non-profit blood centers. Through the support of its five regional operations*, NYBC provides life-saving blood products and clinical transfusion services to area hospitals. NYBC is also home to the Lindsley F. Kimball Research Institute and the National Cord Blood Program.

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