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Rh-Negative Blood Donors Needed Now
Date:12/30/2009

Blood Supply Prioritized as Tri-State Area Braces for Wintry Mix

NEW YORK, Dec. 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- New York Blood Center (NYBC) serving New York City, Long Island, Hudson Valley and New Jersey calls upon the community to please donate blood today. Blood drive cancellations from the weekend storm of December 19, 2009, coupled with unusually high demand from regional hospitals, have impacted Rh-negative blood supplies, especially type O-negative.

People with O-negative blood are known as "universal donors" because their blood can be transfused into anyone. Type O-negative blood is found in just 6 percent of the population, but is used more often by patients with other blood types, especially in emergency rooms and trauma situations. It is also used in exchange transfusions for newborn babies and pregnant women, and for premature babies in intensive care units.

The need for blood is constant. Healthy people of all blood types are encouraged to donate immediately. As more wintry weather may be headed our way, the possibility of weather-related blood drive cancellations can place additional pressure on supply. Hospital use of blood products remains high -- due to surgeries, emergencies and care of cancer patients. About one in seven people entering a hospital needs blood.

Blood is traditionally in short supply during the winter months due to the holidays, travel schedules, inclement weather and illness. January, in particular, can be a difficult month for blood centers to collect blood donations, as approximately 15% of regional blood collection comes from high schools and colleges, many of which have winter recess this month.

NYBC takes very seriously its responsibility to provide a safe, adequate and reliable blood supply for the 20 million people of New York City, Long Island, the Hudson Valley, and New Jersey. By donating blood this week and throughout January, National Blood Donor Month, organizations and individuals can help us maintain a safe, reliable and adequate blood supply throughout the winter season.

To donate blood, please call:

Toll Free: 1-800-933-2566

Visit: www.nybloodcenter.org

Any company, community organization, place of worship, or individual may host a blood drive. NYBC also offers special community service scholarships for students who organize community blood drives during the winter holiday and summer periods. Blood donors receive free mini-medical exams on site including information about their temperature, pulse rate, blood pressure and hemoglobin level. Eligible donors include those people at least age 16 (with parental permission or consent), 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 age 76 and over may donate with a doctor's note.

About New York Blood Center: New York Blood Center (NYBC) is one of the nation's largest non-profit, community-based blood centers. NYBC has been providing blood, transfusion products and services to almost 200 hospitals, serving 20 million people, in greater New York since 1964. NYBC is also home to the Lindsley F. Kimball Research Institute and the National Cord Blood Program at the Howard P. Milstein National Cord Blood Center, the world's largest public cord blood bank. NYBC provides medical services and programs (Clinical, Transfusion, and Hemophilia Services) through our medical professionals along with consultative services in transfusion medicine.

Contact: Leslie Gonzalez, lgonzalez2@nybloodcenter.org, (212) 570-3304 Office, (646) 342-3038 Mobile

SOURCE New York Blood Center


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SOURCE New York Blood Center
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