2011-02-11 / Community

Blood Collection Back To Normal Schedule

Thanks to the support of blood donors – who answered the emergency call after winter snowstorms drove blood supplies to critical levels – New York Blood Center (NYBC) is ending its emergency appeal for blood donations and returning to its normal collection schedule.

The supply of several blood types, including O-negative (“universal donor”) blood, has returned to recommended 3- 5 day inventory levels.

“We thank Mayor Bloomberg and other public officials, the news media, businesses, community groups, and schools for stepping up when we needed them,” said NYBC Vice President Rob Purvis. “Each blood donor is unique, and each and every blood donation is critical to replenish our blood supply. Winter is not over yet, and another storm could be just around the corner.”

The cumulative impact of winter storms resulted in the loss of 8,000 units of blood in six weeks for NYBC, which serves 200 hospitals and the 20 million residents of New York City, Long Island, the Hudson Valley, and New Jersey.

The need for blood is constant, regardless of weather. About one in seven people entering a hospital needs blood, for surgeries, emergencies and cancer treatment. The shelf life of platelets is only five days; the shelf life of red blood cells is just 42 days.

Blood is traditionally in short supply during the winter months due to the holidays, travel schedules, inclement weather and illness. Approximately 25 percent of regional blood collection comes from high schools and colleges, which are especially vulnerable to weather-related closures and cancellations.

To donate blood or for information on how to organize a blood drive, please call toll free: 1-800-933-2566 Visit: www.nybloodcenter.org.

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