New York State Department of Health Highlights Urgent Need for Blood Donations During National Blood Donor Month

New Yorkers are Encouraged to Donate and Give the Gift of Life

Visit the American Red Cross Website to Find Nearby Locations

ALBANY, N.Y. (January 19, 2023) – The New York State Department of Health today is asking eligible New Yorkers to roll up their sleeves and give the gift of life by donating blood this January, which is National Blood Donor Month. This request comes in light of an urgent need for blood donations nationwide.

"Giving blood is literally giving of yourself and giving life! At a time when New York State and the nation are experiencing blood supply shortages, I urge everyone who is eligible to schedule an appointment and donate blood," Acting State Health Commissioner Dr. James McDonald said. "Becoming a blood donor is a generous act that will help patients suffering traumatic injuries, undergoing surgery or fighting cancer, as well as new moms and premature babies."

According to the American Red Cross, a blood donation from one person can save up to three lives. As donated blood must be used within 42 days or less, the need for donations is constant, and often, supply does not keep up with demand.

While the need for blood is always high, donations generally decline as people celebrate the holidays. This supply shortage often coincides with an increase in respiratory illnesses and other viruses that can strain health resources and further reduce the population that is eligible to donate.

In addition, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have an enormous effect on supply and the need for donations. More people are resuming elective procedures that were once put on pause, and individuals who delayed medical care during the height of the pandemic are now facing more serious and advanced diseases. These are just some of the factors that are increasing the critical need for blood donations.

As the American Red Cross recently shared, while all types of blood are needed, the type most often requested by hospitals is type O. Type O negative blood can be given to patients of any blood type and is most commonly used in emergencies when the blood type of a patient is unknown.

New Yorkers can find nearby locations to donate blood by visiting the American Red Cross' website.