The New York Blood Center declared a blood emergency Tuesday, after supplies at blood banks reached critical levels.
The blood center announced a blood drive with Suffolk County on Wednesday, seeking to boost donations. Officials noted that blood donations had waned over the summer, adding to short supplies over the past two years and well below the goal of five to seven days on hand.
A recent spike in COVID-19 cases have caused blood donations to plummet in the past few weeks, officials said.
A one-hour donation of blood per person can save up to three lives, said Tina Kovolisky, assistant director of the blood center
“Hospitals rely on steady donors of these lifesaving donations,” Kovolisky said. “The last two years has brought on a chronic blood shortage of less than a two-day supply for the region.”
Suffolk's blood drive on Wednesday is being held in honor of the county’s late communications director Scott Martella, 29, who was killed in 2016 in a crash on the Long Island Expressway in Manorville.
Martella, who also was a former aide to former Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, was remembered for his selflessness to the community, and officials urged the community to donate blood in his memory.
“When you get a really great person, someone who to their core is somebody who’s doing great things in our world — we need people like that. He was one of those people,” Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said. “We are making sure we have enough blood supply in our region and community to help save lives. This is one of the most appropriate ways to honor Scott and continue his legacy.”
The blood drive will be Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at four Suffolk locations:
- Riverhead County Center, 893 E. Main St., Riverhead
- DSS MacArthur Building, 3455 Veterans Memorial Hwy., Ronkonkoma
- Suffolk County Fire Academy, 103 East Ave., Yaphank
- H. Lee Dennison Building, 100 Veterans Memorial Hwy., Hauppauge.
Appointments can be made by calling 800-933-2566 or online at donate.nybc.org. After Wednesday, donations also can be made in Martella’s honor by using code 71573.
“I want to thank my son Scott for living such a generous and selfless life,” his mother Stacey Martella said.