I am writing to thank all the generous blood donors who sacrificed an hour or so of their time this summer to selflessly help save the lives of others throughout Queens, Nassau and Suffolk. Patients in over 40 hospitals are very likely alive today thanks to you.
But the summer blood shortage sadly continues despite much media attention. Why? While blood donations are down, at the same time the demand for blood is increasing. More cancer cases are diagnosed every day; new donor deferrals reduce the number of eligible blood donors; an aging, sickly population is straining the blood supply; etc. Therefore, we still need volunteer blood donors to help get us through the dog days of August when in fact many people schedule elective surgery because they personally have some extra time in their hectic lives.
We need new blood donors and we need current blood donors to increase their donation participation. Did you know that if donors who donate even once a year could make one additional donation - perhaps in August - we may never face another blood shortage?
Our goal is to become a self-sufficient blood center, never in need of importing blood from either other parts of the United States or Europe. I know residents of Queens and Long Island, in particular, are community-oriented and when asked will certainly Úquot;Give Blood. Save a NeighborÚquot; to borrow a line from our current TV advertising campaign.
Again, I thank those of you who have responded to our emergency blood appeal so far this summer and possibly endured long lines. But I must urge others to heed our call to action now by making a life-saving blood donation this August. The hour or so you spend at a community blood drive or one of our permanent donation centers might be the most important hour of your day - it certainly is for the many hospital patients in need.
If you can help, please call our toll free number at 1-800-933-BLOOD (2566) to make an appointment at any one of our fixed sites or visit our website at www.nybloodcenter.org for more information.
Linda E. Amper, Ph.D.
Executive Director/Vice President
Long Island Blood Services