State Senator Martin Malave Dilan (D-Brooklyn) 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. He encouraged volunteers to help prevent the rationing of blood supplies by donating blood.
“New Yorkers have proven time and time again that they have big hearts and are not afraid to give generously,” said Senator Dilan. “Now, the Red Cross and the city need you to step up and help replenish a blood supply that dwindles during the summer months.”
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 Dilan urged currently eligible and new donors to take an hour out of their busy summer schedule to give blood. “Where else can you save the lives of three people just by giving one pint of blood?” he said.
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.
“The greater the blood supply, the more lives we can save,” said Senator Dilan. “When you donate, you’re making sure that the supply will be there should you or your family needs it. Blood is a precious commodity. Make an investment.”