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From the Desk of Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy: February 11, 2011

Long Island Needs Blood More Than Ever

National Blood Donor Month has just ended, but that doesn’t mean that our region’s urgent need for an emergency blood supply is any less.  Over four million Americans benefit from life-saving blood transfusions every year and with a winter season that has left our region in short supply, Rep. Carolyn McCarthy is urging Long Islanders to make an appointment to donate blood to help fulfill this critical need today.

Traditionally, blood is in short supply during the winter months.  January, in particular, can be a difficult month for blood centers to collect blood donations, as approximately 15 percent of regional blood collections come from high schools and colleges, many of which have winter recess during this time.  This month’s unusually high amount of snow in the area has also hurt local blood supplies, as more people stayed home than usual.

“Blood donors save countless lives every day,” said Rep. McCarthy, who was a nurse before becoming a member of Congress.  “Giving blood today may save the life of a child, parent, or grandparent tomorrow.  It’s time for Long Islanders to come together and help make sure all types of blood will be available to our hospitals and clinics.”

A donor can give a pint of blood every 56 days, yet, according to the New York Blood Center, only 2 percent of New Yorkers actually donate.  A shortage of donated blood represents a serious public health crisis for Long Island.  Potential donors can call the New York Blood Center at 1-800-933-BLOOD or visit www.nybloodcenter.org to schedule an appointment.