Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the city is in desperate need of blood donations from willing New Yorkers, reports Patch.
All of the city’s permanent blood banks are located on Staten Island and Manhattan, leaving residents of the Bronx, Queens and Brooklyn to pop-up mobile units.
And as New York Blood Center mobile drives are closed till May, in accordance with social-distancing, blood donations have rapidly decreased across the region to nearly half New York’s monthly average.
“This crisis, it’s disrupted all the normal blood donation drives,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Thursday. “This is a real issue.”
The city has little to no power beyond that of asking New Yorkers for help, as New York’s blood donation system is managed by New York Blood Center, a local nonprofit that is regulated by the United States Food and Drug Administration.
The blood shortage has become so pressing, the FDA has been forced to revise donation guidelines to make more people eligible to donate and shortening the deferral period for gay men. All regulation changes will be implemented by June, according to a New York Blood Center statement.
In an effort to get citizens aware and more willing to aid, Mayor Bill de Blasio and his wife, Chirlane McCray, also gave blood at the blood center’s Upper East Side location last Thursday.
“We need New Yorkers who can give blood to give blood. Literally you could help save the life of a New Yorker by giving blood at this crucial moment,” said de Blasio.
New Yorkers can schedule an appointment to donate on the website NYBC.org or by calling (800) 933-2566.
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