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Donate Blood Today -- Save Up to Three Lives
Date:1/5/2009

Critical need to restore community blood supply

NEW YORK, Jan. 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- New York Blood Center (NYBC) calls upon the community to please donate blood today, in recognition of National Blood Donor Month, and to help replenish the local blood supply that has fallen sharply over the recent holiday period. Supplies of many blood types are now at the critical 3-day level, with distribution restrictions placed on Type O, Rh negative blood.

Ordinarily, a 5-7 day supply is required to ensure that blood is available for scheduled surgical procedures, medical treatments for cancer patients and to meet emergency or unexpected disaster needs. To meet local needs, New York Blood Center requires 2,000 blood donations each day.

Blood is traditionally in short supply during the winter months due to the holidays, travel schedules, inclement weather and illness. January, in particular, is a difficult month for blood centers to collect blood donations. And with 15% of regional blood collection coming from high schools and colleges, winter recess contributes substantially to the current shortfall.

"There is no substitute for human blood, and the only place to get this precious resource is from volunteer blood donors," said Robert L. Jones, MD; President and CEO, New York Blood Center. "With an aging population and advances in medical treatments and procedures requiring blood transfusions, the demand for blood continues to increase."

Approximately every two seconds, someone needs blood, and one out of three people will need a life-saving blood transfusion in their lifetime. Every day in the U.S., approximately 39,000 units of blood are required in hospitals and emergency treatment facilities for patients with cancer and other diseases, for organ transplant recipients, and to help save the lives of accident victims.

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SOURCE New York Blood Center
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