Noting that "accidents, emergencies and hospital treatments occur on a daily basis," State Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson (D-Bronx/Westchester) today urged constituents to remember that while the summer is coming to an end, the need for blood supplies continues year-round.
"While it is true that donations decline between 10 to 15 percent during the summer, there is never a lack of people who need blood, regardless of the season," Senator Hassell-Thompson said.
She noted that a frequent misconception is that supplies of blood accrued throughout the year can be stockpiled.
"Blood has a limited shelf life and must be replenished constantly. Platelets, used for leukemia and cancer patients, last only 5 days. Whole blood, used for severe blood loss, lasts five weeks. Red blood cells, for accident victims and surgery patients, last six weeks," Senator Hassell-Thompson remarked.
The Bronx/Westchester lawmaker also noted that dangerous shortages of O negative and A negative supplies remain.
"There is no question that we all expect blood will be there when we or a loved one need it. The only way to ensure that is to donate. I hope my constituents will find the time out of their busy schedules to possible save a life by donating," Senator Hassell-Thompson said.
Donors must be 17 years of age, weigh 110 pounds and be in good health. In New York individuals who are 16 years old may donate, provided they bring an original signed New York State Informed Parental Consent form.
Appointments to donate blood may be made by calling the Red Cross at 1-800- GIVE LIFE, or visiting www.donatebloodnow.org