Blizzard Blood Toll Doubles - 2,000 Donations Lost

Dec 28, 2010, 14:42 ET from New York Blood Center

Blood Drives Cancelled Due to Snow Drifts & Traffic Hazards

Supplies of O-Negative Blood Down to Two-Day Supply

NEW YORK, Dec. 28, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- New York Blood Center (NYBC), serving more than 20 million people in New York City, Long Island, the Hudson Valley, and New Jersey, calls upon our communities to please donate blood and platelets, after our tally of blood donations lost due to the weather doubled overnight – to more than 2,000.   The supply of O-negative blood, which is normally maintained at the three-to-five-days of inventory level, has dropped to just two days.

"A blizzard doesn't freeze the need for blood," said NYBC Vice President Rob Purvis.  "It's more important than ever, as we dig out from the blizzard, for our neighbors to roll up their sleeves.  Hospital patients need us to be ready for emergencies, and to provide blood for cancer treatments and surgeries."

NYBC takes very seriously its responsibility to provide a safe, adequate and reliable blood supply for the tri-state area.  By donating blood this week, organizations and individuals can help us maintain a safe, reliable and adequate blood supply through the New Year's holiday weekend.

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, most of which are closed for recess.  

The need for blood is constant.  The shelf life of platelets is only five days; the shelf life of red blood cells is 42 days.  About one in seven people entering a hospital needs blood.

To donate blood or for information on how to organize a blood drive,

Please call Toll Free:  1-800-933-2566


If you cannot donate but still wish to participate in bringing crucial blood products to patients in need, please ask someone to donate for you, or consider volunteering at a local blood drive.

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 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

(718) 797-7804  Office

(646) 342-3038  Mobile

SOURCE New York Blood Center