The New York Blood Center declared a Blood Emergency late last week, after a summer of low donor turnout and even lower turnout since Labor Day, highlighting the importance of local blood drives scheduled for the upcoming days. 

“Our overall inventory of red cells and platelets has dropped significantly post Labor Day holiday and there is an urgent need to increase blood donations to serve the patients in our local hospitals,” according to the Blood Center. “We are still feeling the long-term impact of the pandemic on the blood supply, with 50 percent fewer youth blood donors and first-time donors, fewer organizations hosting blood drives and a sharp decline in donor turnout at our donor centers.  Complicating matters is an overall increase in the need for blood at the hospitals that we serve…. The region’s blood supply is well below the optimal five to seven days and our community is not alone. Blood shortages are happening across the country. There is no surplus in the nation’s blood supply.”

There are three opportunities throughout the East End to contribute blood this week.

The Riverhead Fire Department, at 540 Roanoke Avenue in Riverhead, will host a blood drive tomorrow, Tuesday, Sept. 19 from 1 to 7 p.m.

The Montauk Fire Department, at 12 Flamingo Road in Montauk, also hosts a blood drive tomorrow, Sept. 19, from 2 to 8 p.m.

The Greenport American Legion Roller Rink, at 102 Third Street in Greenport, will host a blood drive on Thursday, Sept. 21 from 1 to 7 p.m.

Walk-ins are welcome, but if you’d like to schedule an appointment, visit this link or call 800.933.2566. 

“Blood is perishable, lasting just 42 days and blood donations have lagged for more than three years,” according to the Blood Center. “While we hope to regain young blood donors this fall at high school and college blood drives, that strategy will not help us in the short term.”

Beth Young
Beth Young is an award-winning local journalist who has been covering the East End since the 1990s. She began her career at the Sag Harbor Express and, after receiving her Masters from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, has reported for the Southampton Press, the East Hampton Press and the Times/Review Media Group. She founded the East End Beacon website in 2013, and a print edition in 2017. Beth was born and raised on the North Fork. In her spare time, she tinkers with bicycles, tries not to drown in the Peconic Bay and hopes to grow the perfect tomato. You can send her a message at editor@eastendbeacon.com

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