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Hurricane Sandy Creates Blood Emergency

Blood Supply is Down 6,000+ Units From Hurricane Disruptions Despite Heroic Efforts of Many Regular Donors

NEW YORK, Nov. 5, 2012 /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, is asking for post-hurricane emergency blood donations.  Though hospital needs were met, and heroic donors found the NYBC facilities that were able to remain open, the unprecedented disruption depleted the blood supply to the point where a significant recovery effort is necessary.

"We anticipated some of the potential effects of Hurricane Sandy, and delivered blood in advance to our 200 partner hospitals," said NYBC Vice President Rob Purvis. "Our first priority remains getting them whatever they need for the care of patients, including the surgeries that had to be delayed last week. Plus – with the holiday season right around the corner – we're in a tough spot," Purvis added.  "We need the help of our communities to recover and replenish the blood supply."

The need for blood is constant, whatever the weather or holiday.  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.

"We've faced similar situations before, though admittedly not as bad as Hurricane Sandy," Purvis said.  "Our neighbors came through for hospital patients then, and replenished the blood supply.  We need them to step up again, and schedule an appointment to donate life-saving blood."

To donate blood or for information on how to organize a blood drive,
Please call Toll Free: 1-800-933-2566
Visit:
www.nybloodcenter.org

Blood donors receive free mini-medical exams on site including information about their temperature, blood pressure and hematocrit level. Eligible donors include those people at least age 16 (with parental permission), 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. For almost 50 years, 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 www.Facebook.com/newyorkbloodcenter. Follow us on Twitter: @NYBloodCenter.

Contact: Rubenstein Associates
(212) 843-8026
[email protected] 

SOURCE New York Blood Center

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