2006-08-17 / Other News

New Yorkers Urged To Donate Blood As Supply Is Very Low

In response to concerns over critically low levels of blood supplies throughout the state, New York's junior Senator Hillary Clinton this week urged eligible New Yorkers to roll up their sleeves and donate critically needed blood.

"It takes only a short amount of time to give blood, but doing so can save a life," Clinton noted. "Thousands of New Yorkers rely upon these donations, and I would encourage all residents who can do so to make an appointment and give blood, or, if you can't personally donate, to help your friends and family to give blood."

"We are thankful for the support of Senator Clinton for helping us stress to the public the importance of donating blood--especially in the summer months," said Sybil Miller, a division director of communications for the American Red Cross.

"We appreciate Senator Clinton's efforts to encourage New Yorkers to donate blood this summer. Donations are critically needed at this time," said Linda Levi, director of communications for the New York Blood Center.

Blood donations are used to treat individuals with cancer, sickle cell anemia, thalassemia, and those who have suffered serious trauma. According to the American Red Cross, about 5 million individuals need a blood donation annually, and about 38,000 donations are needed every day. The American Red Cross states that only about five percent of the estimated 60 percent of eligible Americans donate blood.

Blood is needed year-round, but summer is a particularly volatile time for the blood supply. According to the American Red Cross, the blood supply drops significantly in summer months due to donors' vacation schedules and the lack of high school and college blood drives. Blood donation is completely safe, easy, and only takes about an hour, but doing so can save a life.

All current eligible and new donors are strongly urged to donate blood. In Upstate New York, call the Red Cross at 1-800-448-3543 or visit www.DonateBloodNow.org to schedule an appointment. In the New York metropolitan area, contact the New York Blood Center at 1-800-933-BLOOD or visit www.nybloodcenter.org. Blood donors must be at least 17-years-old, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in general good health. Sixteen-year-olds may donate blood with a parental consent form. Identification is required.

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