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Thursday, October 23, 2014
New York Blood Center asking for donors
Blood supplies dip below emergency “safety level” after blizzard

The New York Blood Center is urgently asking donors to roll up their sleeves on this Valentine’s Day to replenish its community blood supply.

Many communities are still digging out from the accumulated snow, which hampers attendance at blood drives and means cancelled appointments at donor centers. The supply of some blood types – notably O-negative, which can be transfused into anyone in a trauma situation – is now below the minimum emergency “safety level.”

“We’re confident of our ability to supply our 200 partner hospitals with whatever they need, but we’re still struggling with the effects of last weekend’s blizzard,” said NYBC Vice President Rob Purvis.

There is no substitute for human blood, and about one in seven hospital admissions requires a blood transfusion. Blood is especially important for people with leukemia, other forms of cancer, and of course for trauma victims.

Three factors are combining together to prompt NYBC’s emergency declaration:

  1. Many blood drives have been cancelled because of accumulated or predicted snowfall.
  2. Many donors haven’t been able to make scheduled donation appointments due to the weather.
  3. Hospital demand for blood types – notably O-negative, the universal blood type because of its usefulness in trauma situations – remains high.
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