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Laura Curran urges donations amid hospitals’ ‘blood emergency’

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran urges residents to

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran urges residents to donate blood to help alleviate critically low supplies in the county's hospitals. Credit: Howard Schnapp

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Nassau County Executive Laura Curran on Thursday urged eligible residents to donate blood to help alleviate a critical shortage at the county’s hospitals.

Current supplies would last four days — far below the seven-day minimum reserve, officials said.

“Our local hospitals are currently facing a blood emergency,” Curran said at the New York Blood Center donor site in Rockville Centre. “We want to ensure all patients and hospitals that they have access to lifesaving blood now. They need it now.”

Donating blood takes about an hour. One in seven hospital admissions requires a blood transfusion. Nearly 2,000 donations per day are needed to maintain supplies in the distribution region.

Stored blood has a shelf life of about six weeks, which is the reason supply must be continuously replenished. There are fewer blood drives and donations during the summer months because many people are away on vacation, officials said.

“A lot of people wake up and ask how can they help people. This is a direct, lifesaving measure that almost everybody can participate in,” said Nassau County Health Commissioner Lawrence Eisenstein.

NYBC, a nonprofit, independent blood collection and distribution organization, supplies 200 hospitals in New York, New Jersey, the Hudson Valley and parts of Connecticut and Pennsylvania. A list of donation centers is available at nybloodcenter.org.

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