Officials are urging able New Yorkers to donate blood as the city faces a donation shortage amid a string of winter storms. Credit: Colourbox
As the five boroughs are battered by a slew of winter storms, the city faces a blood donation shortage, officials said.
"We've had this string of storms, a lot of the blood donations that normally come in have not happened," Mayor Bill de Blasio Wednesday amid the second snowstorm of the week.
Officials said dozens of blood drives have been cancelled because of recent storms and attendance is greatly reduced by those drives still held.
Five of eight major blood types are below target levels, according to the New York Blood Center. Meeting needs of cancer patients and others requiring platelets, which are necessary for clotting, has also been difficult, the center said.
Demand for blood types, particularly the universal O-negative type useful in trauma situations, remains high in hospitals.
"We have a very serious situation on our hands where we need blood donations and we need them quickly," de Blasio said.
New York Blood Center vice president Rob Purvis said officials are confident in the center's ability to supply partner hospitals, but that they are worried about a potentially bigger storm this weekend.
"It is critical that we all pitch in by donating blood to ensure that supplies aren't further diminished in the days ahead," Purvis said in statement.
The mayor plans on donating blood himself, he said.
Officials ask New Yorkers who are able to donate to call 800-933-2566 or visit nybloodcenter.org.