The New York Blood Center declared an emergency blood shortage on Monday, calling upon local communities to refill the blood supply and prompting the Great Neck Library to hold a blood drive.
Normally, the Blood Center needs a seven-day supply of blood. This requires about 2,000 pints of blood per day – about a pint per donor – so hospitals can properly treat patients.
“Now we probably have less than a three-day supply,” said Karen Muscolino, the blood center’s Long Island representative.
Muscolino said part of the reason for the shortage is that about 30 percent of the blood supply comes from “the educational segment” – meaning people like teachers, older students and PTA members.
When asked what she would tell someone who was hesitant give blood, Muscolino said that it saves lives and you never know when you or a family member might need blood.
“I would tell them, first of all, you’d be helping save someone’s life,” Muscolino said.
In response to the shortage, the Great Neck Library at 159 Bayview Avenue will be hosting an emergency blood drive on July 13 from 1:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
While blood drives were held annually at the library, sometimes even twice a year, this marks the first such event there since renovations began in 2014.
“For awhile we were doing them yearly, but while main was being renovated, we couldn’t do them,” said Debbie Feldman, head of programming and publicity at the Great Neck Library.
Anyone who donates gets a free pair of Mets tickets.
A press release from the New York Blood Center said that, historically, blood centers focus on building up the local blood supply because “it tends to diminish due to seasonal factors.”
“While summer months are marked by a long vacation period, with schools in recess and leisure time, the need for blood never takes a vacation,” the release said.
Interested donors must bring a donor card or identification with a photo or signature. One must be between 16 and 75 to donate, eat and drink well before donating, and be at least 110 pounds.
16 year olds need parental consent, while anyone over 75 needs a doctor’s note to give blood. Donors also cannot have had tattoos in the last 12 months.
For more information requiring medical eligibility, call (800) 688-0900.
For more specific information about Great Neck Library’s blood drive, call Debbie Feldman at (516) 466-8055 ext. 208.