Among the shortages New Yorkers face is blood donations.
According to the New York Blood Center in a press release, two months ago donations began to drop. The center received 6,000 fewer donations than at the start of the year.
“This is a worrying trend following the chronic blood crisis during the pandemic and flies in the face of our hope that our communities will return to normal,” the press release read. “We had seen promising signs with the return of school blood drives and many organizations scheduling blood drives for the first time in two years, yet our donor centers and community blood drives saw a drop of 30 %. Although there are more convenient blood drives, blood donors simply don’t show up.
The New York Blood Center is currently experiencing an inventory of less than
two to three days. Types 0+ and 0- are extremely weak.
Dr. Linda Mamone, director of transfusion/blood bank services at Stony Brook Medicine, answered some questions for TBR News Media about the hospital’s experience.
Stony Brook University Hospital Blood Bank is a collection facility that serves hospital patients with blood and blood products.
Is the Stony Brook University Hospital Blood Bank experiencing a blood shortage?
We have closely monitored our blood supply throughout the pandemic – and earlier, of course – but we have been fortunate to have an adequate blood supply for our patients.
Is there a particular blood type of which there is less?
When it comes to the four main blood types – ABO – O is the most common, followed by A, then B and finally AB. Also, many more people are Rh positive than Rh negative. However, all blood groups are essential for donation.
Why do you think there is a shortage? Is there a way to solve the problem?
Some blood products, such as platelets, have a relatively short shelf life, which can cause significant fluctuations. Historically, the summer months and outbreaks of COVID-19 have been difficult overall.
It is important to have a diverse group of blood donors, with regular donors being essential. Another important way to improve the blood supply is to increase awareness of blood donation. This is an option for people who may not be able to make a direct donation but still want to help.
Do you think people are reluctant to donate blood in a health facility? If so, what do you recommend?
Some people may be reluctant to donate at a health facility. However, our donor center has enough space for social distancing and all potential donors undergo a medical screening upon entering the hospital. Our staff maintains compliance with the policies put in place to prevent the spread of infectious agents.
The Stony Brook University Hospital Blood Bank is located in the main lobby on the 5th floor of the hospital, room 5000. To make an appointment to donate blood or platelets, call 631-444-3662.
The New York Blood Center has donor centers at 1010 Route 112, Port Jefferson Station and 905 Walt Whitman Road in Melville. Call 1-800-933-2566 to schedule an appointment.