New York weather leads to urgent call for blood donations
NEW YORK – The New York Blood Center (NYBC) which serves more than 20 million people in New York City and New Jersey areas has issued an urgent call to donors of blood and platelets, due to the loss of more than 1,000 donations owing to cancellations caused by hazardous weather conditions.
O-negative and O-positive blood types are particularly needed, but healthy people of all blood types and ethnicities are encouraged to donate immediately and in the coming days.
“Mother Nature has delivered a hard slap to our blood supply,” said NYBC Vice President Rob Purvis. “And the blizzard came on top of lower-than-needed holiday collections, so we’re urging our neighbors to step up.”
Blood is traditionally in short supply during the winter months due to the holiday season and travel schedules, bad weather and illness. Approximately 25% of regional blood collection comes from high schools and colleges, most of which are closed for recess.
Platelets have a shelf life of only five days, compared to red blood cells which have a shelf life of 42 days.
About one in seven people admitted to hospital requires blood.
Hospitals have a high demand for a constant supply blood products for surgery, emergency wards and treatment of cancer patients.
Blood donations, a NYBC statement said, can be made at offices, community centres places of worship and even in private homes.