Senator Stavisky Reminds New Yorkers: The Need For Blood Doesn't Take A Summer Vacation
State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky (D-Flushing) today reminded constituents that the state’s blood supply usually drops by about 10 to 15 percent during the summer, which can lead to dire circumstances for hospital patients in need of transfusions. She encouraged volunteers to help prevent the rationing of blood supplies by donating blood.
"When a personal health crisis hits, blood must be immediately available," said Senator Stavisky. "A dwindling blood supply during the busy summer months can literally mean the difference between life and death. As you know, the need for blood never takes a holiday."
American Red Cross officials say summer is typically a time when donations drop off due to travel and other vacation activities. Also fueling the decline is the fact that many donors come from schools and universities, which are out of session for the season. Yet accidents and emergencies often increase during the summer months, just when the blood supply is already at critically low levels.
To help offset the summer shortage, Senator Stavisky urged currently eligible and new donors to take an hour out of their busy summer schedule to give blood. "The time spent will be well worth it in the lives of those you help with just one donation," she said. "One pint of blood can save three lives."
Blood donors must be at least 17 years of age, weigh at least 110 pounds, and be in general good health. In New York State, 16-year-olds may donate blood provided they bring a signed parental permission consent form, available at www.DonateBloodNow.org/16. There are, however, certain health conditions that can prevent someone from donating blood.
Each day, New York Blood Center must collect close to 2,000 donations in the New York/New Jersey community for patients who require a blood and/or platelet transfusion. Those in need include cancer patients; accident, burn or trauma victims; patients undergoing surgery or a transplant; and newborn babies.
While 60 percent of the American population is eligible to donate blood, only 5 percent give. For more information on donor eligibility in the greater New York Metro region, call 1-800-688-0900 or visit www.nybloodcenter.org.
"Summer may be dry, but our blood supply shouldn’t be," Senator Stavisky concluded. "Without volunteer donors, our community will not have an adequate blood supply, it’s that simple. In an era of sophisticated medical advances, there is still no substitute for blood."