December is Aplastic Anemia Awareness Month

Dec 02, 2010, 13:46 ET from New York Blood Center

Give Blood Now and Help a Neighbor This Season

NEW YORK, Dec. 2, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- December is Aplastic Anemia Awareness Month, and New York Blood Center (NYBC) serving more than 20 million people in New York City, Long Island, the Hudson Valley, New Jersey, and parts of Connecticut and Pennsylvania, calls upon the community to please take a few minutes from the holiday shuffle to donate blood, the gift of life, and help replenish and boost your community supply this season.  Aplastic Anemia and MDS Awareness Week is December 1-7, 2010.

Aplastic anemia is a rare and serious condition where the patient's bone marrow does not produce enough red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets for the body.  It can affect people of any age.  People with severe cases are at risk for life-threatening infections and bleeding.  These patients are dependent upon transfusions of donated blood and platelets to keep them alive.

Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) are a group of diseases in which the bone marrow does not make enough normal blood cells for the body.  Red blood cells, white blood cells, and/or platelets may all be affected.  MDS can be mild and easily managed to severe and life-threatening.  In some cases, MDS may develop into acute myelogenous leukemia.  Many patients with MDS and with acute myelogenous leukemia depend upon transfusions of donated blood and platelets to keep them alive.

Angelo Lucrezia, 36, is diagnosed with MDS.  A husband and a father of three young children, Angelo is in need of a bone marrow transplant, and has received numerous blood transfusions.

The need for blood is constant.  Winter holidays are a time when blood supplies diminish while hospital and patient needs remain the same.  Giving blood today will help patients just like Angelo this winter season, and help save the life of a neighbor in critical need.  If you cannot donate, then please ask someone to donate for you.  People can donate one pint of whole blood every 56 days.

New York Blood Center is thankful for the individuals, businesses, community groups and religious organizations that are steadfast in their commitment to blood drives throughout the busy holiday season.

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 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 the summer.  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