County Executive Announces Summer Blood Drive in Suffolk County to Provide Convenient Locations for Residents to Donate
Suffolk County Executive Bellone today announced that the New York Blood Center has declared a blood emergency in the New York metropolitan region. In order to replenish blood supplies, the County Executive urged residents to donate blood at their nearest NYBC donor center. The County Executive also announced a summer blood drive that includes six events to be held across Suffolk County so that residents can attend a convenient location in or near their community.
“There are hundreds, if not thousands of people waiting for a life-saving blood transfusion that could be the difference between life and death,” said County Executive Bellone. “I encourage all New Yorkers to give the gift of life by visiting a local blood donation center and help someone in need.”
“By spreading the word or even hosting your own blood drive, inviting friends, family, and community organizations, you may save lives in your community,” said Andrea Cefarelli, Executive Director of NYBC. “We are in dire need of O negative blood with a reserve that is currently below a two-day supply, and that is just too low.”
At a press conference at the H. Lee Dennison Building in Hauppauge, the County Executive was joined by County Legislator Leslie Kennedy, Suffolk County Health Commissioner Dr. James Tamarken and several officials from the New York Blood Center. The County Executive also announced that he, too, will be donating blood in the coming week to aid in the cause.
Cassidy McCarthy, a five-year-old girl recently cleared of Stage 4 kidney cancer and the recipient of 13 lifesaving blood transfusions, was also in attendance to join in the plea for donations. She was joined by her father, Daniel, who provided an emotional testimonial of their own experience and how donations are critical in this time of need.
Dr. James Tomarken, Suffolk County Commissioner of Health Services said: “Hospitals and clinics in Suffolk County need blood and blood components every day in order to treat patients since most surgical interventions and a great number of medical procedures require blood transfusions.”
Legislator Leslie Kennedy said: “As a nurse for many years and as a person who has been personally affected by the need for donated blood I applaud County Executive Steve Bellone for this Press Conference to shed light on this Blood Emergency. I continue to do my part by hosting blood drives throughout my legislative district and would ask all my colleague Suffolk County Legislators to follow suit. Furthermore, I would encourage all community folks to donate as often as possible, as we speak I am hosting Blood Drive today at the Lake Grove Community Center from 2:00 PM to 8:00 PM”
Legislator William R. Spencer, MD., said: “Having blood on our hospital shelves in advance is key to saving lives as it takes 48 hours for donated blood to reach those who need it. In response to the critical shortage we’re experiencing, I am hosting a blood drive with Long Island Blood Services on Thursday, July 20th from 1:00-7:00pm at the Centerport Fire Department. Please join our efforts to replenish the supply by donating at an upcoming drive or at a local donation center.”
Recent national tragedies are reminders that it is imperative for NYBC to always have an adequately stocked blood supply to respond when communities are faced with patient traumas or other events that require life-saving blood products.
The County Executive encouraged residents to visit any of the upcoming blood donation drive locations in Suffolk County that extend into the month of August.
Suffolk County Summer Blood Drive
Thursday, June 29
9:30am to 3:30pm
Fire Training Academy
Thursday, July 13
9:30am to 3:30pm
Medical Examiner’s Office
North County Complex, Building 487
Monday, July 17
10:00am to 2:30pm
Sunrise Business Center
3500 Sunrise Highway
Great River, NY
Tuesday, July 18
7:45am to 4:15pm
Cohalan Court Complex
400 Carleton Avenue
Central Islip, NY
Thursday, July 20
9:00am to 3:00pm
DSS MacArthur Building
3455 Veterans Memorial Highway
Tuesday, August 8
9:30am to 3:00pm
H.Lee Dennison Building
100 Veterans Memorial Highway
In order to maintain a safe blood supply a seven-day inventory of all types must be continually replenished. Companies, organizations, and community groups are also encouraged to step up to host a blood drive in July or August to help rebuild the blood supply. Hosting a blood drive is easy and NYBC’s staff will help you every step of the way.
O negative blood donors are considered “universal,” and their blood type is needed most readily in trauma situations and emergency departments across the country. Due to its high demand, O negative blood is in short supply and NYBC encourages individuals with this blood type to consider stepping forward and donate today. Our local blood supply has reached a critically low level, with under a two-day supply of O negative, B negative, and A negative.
It is essential in the summer months the community maintains steady participation in blood donation. The best preparation for an unpredictable tragedy is having blood on hospital shelves in advance, which is key to potentially saving lives.
Historically, during the summer months, blood centers have had to focus on building up the community’s blood supply, as it tends to diminish due to seasonal factors. While summer months are marked by a long vacation period, with schools in recess and leisure time, the need for blood never takes a vacation. NYBC urges individuals to seek out nearby blood donation centers and to engage in the selfless act of donating, helping to prevent a summer blood shortage and potentially saving the life of someone in need.
More About Blood Donations
The entire donation process takes less than an hour and a single donation can be used to save multiple lives. Donors with O-negative blood type, or “universal donors,” are especially encouraged to donate, as their blood can be used in emergencies. Nearly 2,000 donations are needed each day in New York and New Jersey alone. About one in seven hospital admissions requires a blood transfusion, and with a limited shelf life, supplies must be continually replenished.
If you cannot donate but still wish to participate in bringing crucial blood products to patients in need, please consider hosting a blood drive or volunteering at a local blood drive.
Any company, community organization, place of worship, or individual may host a blood drive. 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 (parental consent is required for 16-year-olds), 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 or older may donate if they have a doctor’s note on file with New York Blood Center or if they bring one on the day of the blood drive.
About New York Blood Center
Now more than 50 years old, New York Blood Center (NYBC) is a nonprofit organization that is one of the largest independent, community-based blood centers in the country. NYBC’s mission is to serve the 20 million people in the New York metropolitan area — and more broadly, our nation and our world — by alleviating human suffering and preserving human life using our medical expertise.
Each year, NYBC provides approximately one million blood products to nearly 200 hospitals in the Northeast. NYBC also provides a wide array of transfusion-related medical services. NYBC is also home to the world’s largest public cord blood bank, which provides stem cells for transplant in many countries, and a renowned research institute, which — among other milestones — developed the hepatitis B vaccine and innovative blood purification technology.
For more information on donating or how to organize a blood drive, please call Toll Free: 1-800-933-2566 or visit: www.nybloodcenter.org/blood. The New York Blood Center is also on Facebook: www.facebook.com/newyorkbloodcenter.