NYC Blood Banks Announce Emergency-Level Shortages, Maimonides Calls on Boro Parkers to Donate to Save Lives

NYC Blood Banks Announce Emergency-Level Shortages, Maimonides Calls on Boro Parkers to Donate to Save Lives

By Yehudit Garmaise

Do you have 10 minutes to save a life?

For the fifth time this year, the New York Blood Center (NYBC) announced a blood emergency, in which local hospitals do not have a sufficient stock of blood on their shelves to treat their patients.

NYC’s blood supply is currently only deep enough to provide one to three days' worth of blood, when the center’s ideal blood supply should last for five to seven days.

The blood is not enough to treat trauma patients in emergency rooms, car accident victims, nor the 10,000 women who give birth at Maimonides each year.

Other patients who desperately need blood donations are children and adults who have cancer, anemia, bone marrow diseases and many other conditions, Martin Bluth, MD, PhD, the chief of blood transfusion and donor services at Maimonides Medical Center, told BoroPark24.

The surpluses of blood on the shelves that most blood centers enjoyed before the pandemic has diminished to such an extent that blood centers are calling the current lack of blood supply, “a national crisis.”

Donors could not come into the hospital during Covid, and national disasters like Hurricane Ian have depleted even the Red Cross’s precarious short supply of blood, platelets, and plasma.

In Boro Park, the “Save Maimo” campaign has sadly hindered the hospital’s ability to collect blood because people don’t want to get involved. 

As a result of dwindling blood donations, Maimonides cannot provide the blood so many of its patients desperately need. 

“We have to make sure we have the blood for the approximate 10,000 transfusions we provide every year for people who need blood to live,” Dr. Bluth explained. 

“We can’t get the normal levels of blood we seek.” 

NYC has a continuous need for blood: especially now that people are living longer and getting sicker. 

“So more people need blood now compared to 20 years ago,” Dr. Bluth said.

“Every three seconds, someone needs blood,” reports

The best way to restock the city’s blood supply is to reinvigorate blood donors’ zrezus, explained Dr. Bluth, who called on Boro Parkers to step up and come into donate at the Maimonides Blood Donation Center at 4802 10th Ave.

Maimonides' reduction in donors caused the Blood Center to cut its daily hours to Tuesday and Thursday from 8am to 7pm, and people who want to donate individually or in groups of five can call (718) 283-7657 to make appointments or arrange mobile units to come to them.

While getting to Maimonides can be hard for those who don’t drive, Dr. Bluth is proposing a plan for those who drive and who can’t donate blood, but who want to help, to volunteer to drive others to donate blood.

For larger groups, Maimonides offers mobile units that can set up beds, juice, kosher snacks, phlebotomists who come right to shuls, schools, community centers, offices, nonprofits, and community groups for people who want to give blood right where they are: in order to save a life. 

People should not expect hospitals to always have the blood they need, like grocery shoppers expect stores to have pears on shelves, Dr. Bluth said.

“We need to dissociate from community politics and realize that the resource of blood that you think is always available, is only available because of the altruism that people extend to other people,” Dr. Bluth said. “We have blood in storage only because of the people who chose to donate their blood, platelets, and plasma for other people.”

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