Blood Emergency Appeal a Success

Feb 09, 2011, 13:34 ET from New York Blood Center

Donations Still Needed To Counter Weather Cancellations

NEW YORK, Feb. 9, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- 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% 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


Any company, community organization, place of worship, or individual may host a blood drive.  NYBC also offers special community service scholarships for students who organize community blood drives during summer and winter months.  Blood donors receive free mini-medical exams on site including information about their temperature, pulse rate, blood pressure and hemoglobin level.  Eligible donors include those people at least age 16 (with parental permission or consent), who weigh a minimum of 110 pounds, are in good health and meet all Food & Drug Administration and NY or NJ State Department of Health donor criteria.  People over 75 may donate with a doctor's note.

About New York Blood Center:  New York Blood Center (NYBC) is one of the nation's largest non-profit, community-based blood centers. NYBC has been providing blood, transfusion products and services to hospitals since 1964, serving more than 20 million people in New York City, Long Island, the Hudson Valley, New Jersey, and parts of Connecticut and Pennsylvania.  NYBC is also home to the Lindsley F. Kimball Research Institute and the National Cord Blood Program at the Howard P. Milstein National Cord Blood Center, the world's largest public cord blood bank.  NYBC provides medical services and programs (Clinical, Transfusion, and Hemophilia Services) through our medical professionals along with consultative services in transfusion medicine. Please visit us on Facebook at  Follow us on Twitter: @NYBloodCenter.

Contact:  Leslie Gonzalez

646-342-3038  Mobile

SOURCE New York Blood Center