Hurricane Sandy ravaged neighborhoods across New York, but it also did serious damage to the city’s blood supply. Although people may not realize it, the need for blood at hospitals is constant and blood is collected every day to meet the demands – but that process took a serious hit when the storm struck. The New York Blood Center has sent out notice that its supply of blood has been seriously depleted – they are about 6000 units short – but the good news is that you can help! Emergency donors across New York City are being asked to donate blood and platelets at a donation center or blood drive as soon as possible. If you wanted to volunteer down in Staten Island or the Rockaways but were turned away because of the snow, giving blood is a wonderful alternative way you can help your fellow New Yorkers. According to the NYBC, one in seven hospital patients need blood and this statistic only increases in crises like last week’s storm, so think about how much good your blood could do.
Blood is a constant need for the NYBC, but with the effects of last week’s storm, it is in even higher demand. Red blood cells themselves have a shelf life of 42 days, but platelets can only survive for five days. With most of their stock in use post-storm, there just isn’t much left to aid in the immediate future.
New Yorkers stepped up to the plate and have reacted to the effects of the hurricane, helping rebuild, feed, clothe, and donate, but all of these, including giving blood, will need to be a continuous effort to get our city back on track.
If you’re feeling good today, get out to your nearest donation center and donate! Donors need to be at least 16, weigh at least 110 pounds, be in good health and meet the Food & Drug Administration’s donor criteria. You can even set up a blood drive at your work, church or community center.
Images ©New York Blood Center Facebook