New York Blood Center (NYBC) is conducting a blood drive from 7:45 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 20, at Saint Kateri Parish, located at 427 Stanhope Road in Sparta
“Due to the coronavirus, we are experiencing low blood supplies,” said Marie Forrestal, director of donor recruitment for NYBC. “We urgently need people to make every effort to donate blood.
Blood products have a short shelf life of from five to 42 days, so constant replenishment is necessary, she said.
“Each day there are patients who depend on the transfusion of red blood cells, platelets and plasma to stay alive,” said Forrestal. “But blood and blood products can’t be manufactured. They can only come from volunteer blood donors who take an hour to attend a blood drive or visit a donor center.”
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 summer.
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 (with parental permission or consent), who weigh a minimum of 110 pounds, are in good health and meet all Food & Drug Administration and New York or New Jersey State Department of Health donor criteria. People over 75 may donate with a doctor’s note.
To donate blood or for information on how to organize a blood drive, call the toll-free number 1-800-933-2566 or visit nybloodcenter.org.