By Mark Hallum
A blood shortage across the state has prompted the New York Blood Center to call on donors in multiple counties to volunteer throughout the months of June and July.
The emergency comes from the fact that there is only a four-day reserve of all blood types in New York state. The goal is to have seven days worth.
Residents of Queens can visit donation locations from June 22 to July 10 at 21sites across the borough as organizers hope to draw 1,000 to 1,500 donors throughout the summer.
“Every single day, blood donations help save lives – and right now the need is critical,” said Andrea Cefarelli, senior executive director of donor recruitment for New York Blood Center. “We’re calling on everyone to do what they can to spread the word, host a blood drive or simply take an hour out of their day to donate.”
NYBC is specifically looking for O blood types — they are “universal givers” which are not rejected by the body of the recipient — and type B donors, simply because it is one of the rarest blood types.
Summer is the season in which blood shortages are most likely to occur, with families taking time away from their usual routines at work and school. Donations are known to drop throughout the season, according to the NYBC.
The 100th, 105th and 114th precincts will be hosting blood drives at their respective commands on Friday, followed by the Incarnation School, Colony Theatre Center, Young Israel of Holliswood and St. Luke in Whitestone on Sunday.
The 101st and 102nd precincts will host drives on Tuesday, June 26, , with the 107th, 109th and 115th Precincts following suit on Wednesday.
Donors can visit Queens Center Mall June 30 and Citi Field July 2 with the final blood drive being held at York College on July 10.
For a full list of locations and times, contact the New York Blood Center at 1 (800) 933-2566 or visit nybloodcenter.org/blood.
According to the New York Blood Center, a visit can only take an hour for a single pint of blood.
Those in most dire need of transfusions are cancer patients, accident, burn, or trauma victims, newborn babies and their mothers, transplant recipients, surgery patients and chronically transfused patients suffering from sickle cell disease or thalassemia, according to NYBC.
The drive, which started June 11, also coincided with World Blood Donor Day June 14.
Reach reporter Mark Hallum by e-mail at mhall