National Minority Donor Awareness Day is Sunday, August 1, 2010 and New York Blood Center (NYBC) serving more than 20 million people in New York City, Long Island, the Hudson Valley, New Jersey, and parts of Connecticut and Pennsylvania, calls upon the communities it serves to help us meet the great need for blood from diverse donors.
Historically, National Minority Donor Awareness Day emphasized minority organ and tissue donation, but blood donation remains the most widely used gift of life. Organ and tissue transplant procedures cannot take place without adequate blood supplies, and many patients have critical, unique blood needs that can only be met by blood donors of the same ethnic or racial background.
Every two seconds, someone needs blood. Your community blood supply is a lifeline for you, your family, neighbors, and friends. NYBC serves one of the most diverse areas in the nation making it imperative that we not only maintain an ample blood supply, but also collect blood that closely mirrors the diversity of the communities we serve. Unfortunately, the current pool of blood donors in our tri-state area does not mirror the diversity of our patient population.
The goal of New York Blood Center’s PreciseMatch® Program is to ensure diverse communities have access to the most precisely matched blood products whenever patients might need them. Some chronically transfused patients, such as those with sickle cell disease, thalassemia, cancer or leukemia, pregnant women and newborn babies, can build up antibodies following frequent transfusions over time. These patients may then begin to “reject” the standard blood transfusion or have a bad reaction. More precisely-matched transfusions are then required, from someone who has inherited the same antigens, or markers, in their blood. Like eye color, or other inherited characteristics, this “precise match” or rare blood is most often found in someone from the same ethnic or racial background.
The need for blood is constant, so please consider becoming a blood donor. If you have given blood in the past, please make an appointment to return and donate blood this season. You can also help patients in need by organizing a blood drive in your community, house of worship, or place of work. People can donate one pint of blood every 56 days.
To donate blood or for information on how to organize a blood drive, Please call Toll Free: 1-800-933-2566