Bellone: Blood and platelet levels at critical lows in Suffolk

RACHEL YOUNG PHOTO | The New York Blood Center in Riverhead.
The New York Blood Center in Riverhead. (Photo by Rachel Young.)

Long Island’s recent string of winter storms has led to a critical shortage of community blood and platelets, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said in a Feb. 11 press release asking donors to head to their nearest New York Blood Center.

“I urge residents to donate to this vital cause,” Mr. Bellone said. “So many people depend on donations to survive serious illnesses or accidents. Giving blood is an easy way to help.”

Many blood drives have been cancelled due to accumulated or predicted snowfall, New York Blood Center officials said, and hospital demand for blood types remains high.

Of the six major blood types, five are below target levels, NYBC officials said, and the supply of O-Negative blood, which can be transfused into anyone in a trauma situation, is now below the minimum emergency “safety level.”

“While we’re confident in our ability to supply our partner hospitals, we’re still struggling with the effects of the snow and ice for the past two weeks, and worried about an even bigger hit this week,” said NYBC Vice President Rob Purvis. “It is critical that we all pitch in by donating blood to ensure that supplies aren’t further diminished in the days ahead.”

The North Fork’s nearest New York Blood Center is located at 1149 Old Country Road in Riverhead. To make an appointment, call 800-933-2566.

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