State Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson (D-Bronx/Westchester ) today issued an urgent call to Bronx and Westchester residents to give blood and help relieve the community’s blood shortage.
According to the Bronx/Westchester lawmaker, available blood levels suitable for donation are in danger of becoming critically low. Every two seconds someone in the United States needs blood, while only 5% of the eligible population donates their blood in any given year. "A healthy donor is the only source of blood for those in need. Those of us that are able to donate must take the steps to give the gift of life," Senator Hassell-Thompson said.
Senator Hassell-Thompson said donating blood now to the American Red Cross will help to prevent future emergencies. Traditionally, blood supplies begin to decrease with the approach of summer by approximately 15% due to high school and college blood drives being on hiatus, and donors taking summer vacation. "Now is the time to give blood; these cyclical blood shortages can put lives in jeopardy. Everyone has a responsibility to contribute to the blood supply to help those in need," she said.
"We all expect that blood will be there when we or a loved one needs it, but the only way that will happen is for people to take the time to make a blood donation today," said Senator Hassell-Thompson. "That’s why I am calling on the generous folks in our community to find one hour of their time to give blood. By doing so, they can help ensure that the blood is there for patients who are relying on it. Give blood now, and make an appointment to give a second time during this summer."
Senator Hassell-Thompson said that there is some criteria for blood donation. Donors must be 17 years or older, weigh at least 110 pounds, and be in general good health to donate. Donors can schedule a donation appointment or find out about blood drives in their area by contacting the Red Cross at 1-800-GIVE-LIFE or visiting www.givelife.org/.