New York Blood Center Declares First Blood Emergency of 2023
Bad weather, cold and flu season and more are causing a drop in blood donations.
Today, New York Blood Center (NYBC) declared the first blood emergency of 2023. The blood emergency is due to several evolving factors, including recent poor weather, school breaks and cold and flu season. Last month, NYBC and its divisions across the nation received 6,000 fewer blood donations than the year prior and blood donations are 12% below hospital and patient needs.
The number of blood donations still are not back to pre-pandemic levels. Compounding the problem is a continued lag in first-time and youth donors, which remain about half of pre-pandemic levels. And while New Yorkers are returning to in-person work, office and community blood drives and visits to NYBC Donor Centers are significantly down. People working from home had an easier time donating in our donor centers, but we’re seeing a dramatic decrease at our centers.
“Each winter, we struggle to get folks to donate blood and this year is no exception. We need more New Yorkers to make blood donations, host blood drives and spread the word about the need for donations,” said Andrea Cefarelli, Senior Vice President at New York Blood Center. “Last year, we expanded our reach with a new donor center, and we recently announced new donor guidelines from the FDA; we are expanding in every way we can in order to reach new donors. This March, make a blood donation and tell a friend!”
In addition to whole blood donors, platelet donors are urgently needed. With a shelf life of just 7 days, NYBC relies on dedicated platelet donors to help patients undergoing chemotherapy, those with bleeding disorders, new mothers, and more.
Blood donors can give every 56 days, and platelet donors can give twice per month. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently lifted eligibility restrictions for individuals who lived in Europe during certain periods of time. To view current eligibility guidelines, visit nybc.org or call 800.688.0900.
The need is constant, but the supply is not. Visit nybc.org to schedule an appointment to donate, or call 800.933.2566.
NEW YORK BLOOD CENTER ENTERPRISES/NEW YORK BLOOD CENTER was founded in 1964, New York Blood Center Enterprises (NYBCe) is one of the largest nonprofit, independent, community blood centers in the world. Along with partner organizations Blood Bank of Delmarva (BBD), Community Blood Center of Kansas City (CBC), Connecticut Blood Center (CTBC), Memorial Blood Centers (MBC), Nebraska Community Blood Bank (NCBB), and Rhode Island Blood Center (RIBC), we collect approximately 4,000 units of blood products each day and serve communities approaching 50 million people in the tri-state area (NY, NJ, CT), mid-Atlantic area (PA, DE, MD), Kansas City metropolitan area, Minnesota, Nebraska, Rhode Island, and Southern New England. NYBCe delivers lifesaving blood products and services as well as clinical, medical, pharmaceutical, testing, and consultative services to over 600 hospitals and dozens of research organizations, academic institutions, and biomedical companies. Among other milestones, our Lindsley F. Kimball Research Institute pioneered the Hepatitis B vaccine and patented a solvent detergent plasma process, innovating blood-purification technology worldwide.