‘Blood emergency’ issued in NY area amid dwindling supply


HILLCREST, Queens — The current regional blood supply is less than half of what it should be. That’s according to the New York Blood Center, which issued a blood emergency on Wednesday.

And with concerns over the new coronavirus variant, health professionals are urging people to donate.

Right now, the region’s blood supply is at one- to two-day level.

Asadullah Abdullah, an account manager with the New York Blood Center, said the ideal inventory is between five to seven days.

“The problem with that is the emergency is all over [the] United States, so we cannot buy blood from another state,” Abdullah said. “We cannot get blood to New York. The only way we can get it is if we have donors come out and donate.”

To help bring numbers up, NYBC held a blood drive at St. John’s University in Queens.

Blood drives at high schools and colleges made up 25% of donations, but the pandemic caused a slow down.

Nardeen Shenouda is in the physician assistant program at St. John’s. She said, because of what she’s studying, she knows the importance of donating.

“I think it’s just something so simple that you can do … that’ll save so many lives because you never know,” Shenouda said. “It could be your brother, your sister, your mom [or] your dad.”

December is typically a tough time in general to find donors, Abdullah said.

“During the holidays a lot of people go out,” Abdullah said. “Our regular donors, they go on vacations or they’re just home with family. The last thing you want to think about is donating blood, but we really want them especially right now.”

A new concern for donors is the omnicron variant of COVID-19. However, blood donation centers are following CDC guidelines for safety and health professionals said a shortage in the blood supply is causing new uncertainty at the worst time of the year as the winter season is approaching.

A full list of eligibility requirements information on donation sites can be found on the New York Blood Center website.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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