In conjunction with the American Red Cross Blood Services, New York-Penn Region, Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R, I, C – Batavia) is encouraging the public to donate blood this summer. While the American Red Cross needs a five- to seven-day supply of blood in order to ensure hospital patients can receive the treatment they need, the Red Cross is currently only at a 3-day supply level.
“Especially during the summer months, when donations are made infrequently but demand for blood remains high, it is very important that every eligible donor give the gift of life,” said Hawley. “I hope everyone who can donate will call for an appointment.”
In order to maintain adequate supplies, the New York-Penn Region needs to collect an average 1,200 units of blood per day. However, during the summer months, donations often drop by 15 to 10 percent. Although 60 percent of Americans are eligible blood donors, only 5 percent donate nationwide and even less, an average of 4 percent, donate locally.
Donating blood only takes about an hour and with one donation, three lives can be saved.
All types of blood are needed, most especially type O blood. In fact, nearly half the population has type O blood, which means that new donors have a 50 percent chance of having the type of blood now in the shortest supply. To donate:
- Anyone between the ages of 17 to 76, in good health and weighing at least 110 lbs., can donate.
- In New York State, 16-year-olds can donate blood provided they bring an original signed New York State Informed Parental Permission for a 16-Year-Old to Donate Whole Blood form to the blood drive. Copies of this form can be found online at www.DonateBloodNow.org/16.
- Call the Red Cross at 1-800-GIVE-LIFE (1-800-448-3543) or visit www.DonateBloodNow.org to schedule an appointment at a location or blood drive near you.