Blood donation often diminishes during hectic summer months
State Senator Martin Malave Dilan (D-Brooklyn) today urged individuals who are able to donate blood to look for an opportunity to do so. He reminded all residents that it’s common for the blood supply to drop by 10 or 15 percent during the summer, which can make necessary transfusions for those in need extremely difficult.
“There is always a great need for people to donate blood,” Senator Dilan said. “Unfortunately, as the summer months bring increased temperatures and sunnier skies, donations tend to decrease and bring grim outcomes for people whose lives depend on generous individuals to give blood.”
During July and August donations typically drop off because of travel and other vacation activities, according to American Red Cross officials. Many college campuses and universities are also out of session, further aiding the decline of donors. Yet during the summertime, accidents and emergencies often increase, just when the blood supply is already at dangerously low levels.
“We need people willing to donate blood and save lives,” said Senator Dilan. “Whether they are experienced donors or new donors, we need people to step up and do the right thing.”
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.
New York Blood Center (NYBC), one of the nation’s largest nonprofit, community-based blood centers, provides blood products and clinical and transfusion services to almost 200 hospitals in New York and New Jersey. To meet their lifesaving mission, NYBC relies on the generosity of 2,000 volunteer donors each and every day.
For more information on donor eligibility, call the American Red Cross at 1-800-GIVE LIFE (1-800-448-3543).
“Donating blood answers the call to preserve life,” concluded Senator Dilan. “It’s a human to human gesture that is unmatched in its generosity. It transforms strangers into heroes.”