New York Blood Center (NYBC) announced that the state is facing a blood emergency.
As school spring breaks and holiday travel have caused an alarming drop in donations over the past six weeks, NYBC stated that all blood types are low and type O is at just a 1-to-2-day level.
“This time of the year always tends to be difficult for the blood supply, with school spring breaks and increased travel making blood donations less of a priority. These factors are now coinciding with increasing COVID cases and a potential fifth wave of the pandemic,” said Andrea Cefarelli, Senior Executive Director at New York Blood Center. “One blood donation has the ability to save up to three lives. We highly encourage all who are able to donate today to help New Yorkers who need it most.”
This latest shortage occurs amid increasing COVID-19 rates, which can be attributed to the highly contagious Omicron subvariant BA.2.12.1 that is spreading throughout the state. New York City’s COVID transmission rate has increased 32% in the last 10 days, and last week the city raised its COVID alert level to medium as cases surpassed a rate of 200 per 100,000 people in the five boroughs.
In the past six weeks, NYBC saw approximately 6,000 fewer blood donors compared to earlier this year. Donor participation has reached record lows at blood drives and donor centers, and hospitals and patients rely upon a steady flow of volunteer donors to receive life-saving blood donations, but the recent spike in cases and spring break travel has caused uncertainty.
To make an appointment at a blood drive, donors can call 1-800-933-2566 or by visiting nybc.org.