The New York Blood Center (NYBC) is holding a blood drive at Felix Festa Middle School in West Nyack from 3:45 pm - 8:15 pm in Cafeteria B-108. The NYBC declared a blood emergency on Monday because many area drives were cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy. Just show up, no appointment is needed to donate.
NYBC spokesperson Robin Friehling of the New York Blood Center said people are eligible to donate if they have recently gotten a flu shot.
“One of the questions I keep getting is whether someone who has had a flu shot recently can donate and the answer is yes, said Friehling. “We ask people to wait only 24 hours after getting the shot before they donate – mostly because people sometimes experience flu-like symptoms after receiving their flu shot, and we want to be sure that they are in fact well when they donate.”
The NYBC said it has 6,000 few units of blood available than it normally does. It serves more than 20 million people in the Hudson Valley, New York City, Long Island and New Jersey and is asking for post-hurricane emergency blood donations. Though hospital needs were met, its blood supply has been disrupted.
“We anticipated some of the potential effects of Hurricane Sandy, and delivered blood in advance to our 200 partner hospitals,” said NYBC Vice President Rob Purvis. “Our first priority remains getting them whatever they need for the care of patients, including the surgeries that had to be delayed last week. We need the help of our communities to recover and replenish the blood supply.”
To make a future appointment to donate blood, call 1-800-933-2566 or go to: www.nybloodcenter.org.
“We’ve faced similar situations before, though admittedly not as bad as Hurricane Sandy,” Purvis said.
The need for blood is constant regardless of the weather or holiday. The shelf life of platelets is only five days; the shelf life of red blood cells is 42 days. About one in seven people entering a hospital needs blood.
Blood donors receive free mini-medical exams on site including information about their temperature, blood pressure and hematocrit level. Eligible donors include those people at least age 16 (with parental permission), who weigh a minimum of 110 pounds, are in good health and meet all Food & Drug Administration and NY or NJ State Department of Health donor criteria. People over 75 may donate with a doctor's note.