Time for Queens College to Roll up Their Sleeves as NYC Faces Blood Donation Shortage 

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On Mar. 6th, The New York Blood Center declared its first blood emergency of 2023. Due to several evolving factors, such as poor weather, school breaks, and the cold and flu seasons, there has not been an ideal blood supply for an ongoing period of 30 months.

Since the pandemic pushed most schools and colleges to go remote, getting enough blood donors takes a lot of work. This is primarily because in the past, school and college drives resulted in 75,000 blood donations during each school year.

Although a big part of New Yorkers are returning to in-person activities, the NYBC asserts that the amount of blood donations is still not back to pre-pandemic levels. NYBC typically had a shortage reserve of seven to nine days, but now it only counts with a reserve of two days. According to the Red Cross, there is a daily urge to collect about 12,000 blood donations and nearly 3,000 platelet donations to meet the needs of patients at about 2,500 hospitals nationwide.

However, the situation can get worse as we head closer to summer — a time when there are usually fewer people available to donate, as many go away on vacation. An increase in people on the road, can cause more car accidents and thus a need for more blood. As bad as it looks, we are not even taking into consideration those that have chronic sickle cell anemia, cancer, surgery, mothers that have problems while in labor, and more.

Armando Echeverry, the account manager at the New York Blood Center, spoke to The Knight News and stated that, “There is no surplus in the U.S anymore and this is why we are begging people, if they can, to donate.”

Nonetheless, it must be highlighted that there is an immense hope in us to come together and honor his word, as Echeverry described Queens College with one word by saying “Queens College is phenomenal.”
Echeverry commemorates the two blood drives that happened last year at Queens College on April 14th and Nov. 9th, because the NYBC was able to collect 223 pints of blood. Undoubtedly, it is an incredible achievement for those who donated in the QC community to have saved 669 people, as each donation of pine saves three lives.

In their last blood drive, the members of The Red Cross club gave invaluable help by assisting with tabling, following up with people who donated, and donating themselves. Danielle Williams, a student majoring in biology, is the president of the Red Cross Club, and she spoke to The Knight News about their current plans.This semester, they are supporting QC Health Services by tabling again and inviting people to join the “Be The Match” donor registry, helping those who fill out their surveys and swab their cheeks. Danielle encouraged us to donate, saying, “You should not wait until someone you care about needs blood to donate.”

Once again this year, QC will have the opportunity to roll up their sleeves and save lives. On Wednesday, April 19th, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., the New York Blood Center will be hosting a blood drive in the Patio Room in the Dining Hall at Queens College.

It is open to all students and staff, but you must have a form of identification with either your photo or signature. Even though the blood donation procedure itself takes about 10-12 minutes, the NYBC suggests allotting 45 minutes to an hour to donate blood. This is due to the time it takes to fill out the donor registration form, conduct the history/mini-medical exam, and to rest and enjoy refreshments following your donation.

All donors must be in good health, essentially, you should not have a cold, flu, or COVID-19. By all means, your donor suitability will be determined as they measure your temperature, hemoglobin content, and blood pressure at the door the day of the blood drive.

If you are too scared of blood or needles to donate, The Knight News suggests you raise awareness by spreading the word to your friends, and if you can, volunteer that day to help make it possible!
Appointments are preferred; however, walk-ins will be welcomed if space permits. Visit here to schedule an appointment.

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