School breaks, increased travel, and busy summer schedules causing drop in donations heading into
critical summer months

NEW YORK, NY – New York Blood Center (NYBC) is declaring a blood emergency due to a significant drop in blood donations preceding and following Memorial Day weekend. In the past three weeks, donations have been 2,100 units short of what is needed to meet hospital demand, placing a strain on the region’s blood supply heading into the summer months that are typically marked by a spike in traumas.

Annually, more than 56,000 traumas are reported in New York State, the majority of which occur on weekends and during the summer months. Blood transfusions are often needed to treat traumas, and a spike in traumatic accidents can cause a strain on the blood supply. Additionally, school breaks, travel, and busy summer schedules make blood donation less of a priority and often lead to seasonal shortages.

State Health Commissioner Dr. James McDonald said,  “The New York State Department of Health supports New York Blood Center’s urgent call for blood donations as we experience blood shortage supplies throughout the state. We encourage all who are eligible to schedule an appointment to donate blood. Just one selfless act of blood donation could potentially save multiple lives and help those suffering from traumatic injuries, undergoing surgery or fighting illnesses, as well as new parents and premature babies.”

“Having a sufficient blood supply is critical for all hospitals to care for New Yorkers, and we are committed to helping the New York Blood Center raise awareness of the critical need for blood donations,” said Devika Mathrani, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at NewYork-Presbyterian. “One blood donation can save up to three lives, and we encourage everyone who is eligible to donate routinely.”

“Blood transfusions are essential to treat patients in our communities, from car crash victims and cancer patients, to new mothers and their newborn babies. The amount of transfusion varies from patient to patient – but the need is always there,” said Alexander J. Indrikovs, MD, MBA, Senior Director, Transfusion Medicine at Northwell Health. “The summer months, often called ‘trauma season’, bring about significant challenges to an already limited blood supply. With more hours of daylight and increased outdoor activities during the warmer months, people are more likely to sustain injuries that may require blood transfusions. During times of increased demand for transfusions, hospitals have an obligation to team up with their blood supplier to promote blood donations and maintain adequate blood inventories.”

“Summer fun – holidays, vacations, school breaks – unfortunately is often accompanied by a decrease in blood donations, with lifesaving consequences” said NYC Emergency Management Commissioner Zach Iscol. “Look out for your community by giving blood this summer season. Make your appointment today to ensure that the City has an adequate blood supply. Thirty minutes of your day will save lives.”

The region currently only has a 2-day blood supply of types O- and B-, well below the optimal level of 5-7 days. Platelets and all other blood types are also in short supply. In addition to the rise in traumas, blood is needed daily for routine patient care. Nearly 120,000 New Yorkers are diagnosed with cancer each year and a quarter of the region’s blood supply is used to treat cancer patients alone.

“We are putting out the call for help following a decrease in blood donations after Memorial Day weekend. While the summer months bring warm weather and joyful gatherings of family and friends, each year our hospitals receive an influx of trauma patients that need our help and require blood transfusions for treatment,” said Andrea Cefarelli, Senior Vice President at New York Blood Center. “As we enter trauma season, we are asking New Yorkers to give back and make donating blood one of their regular summer activities.”

NYBC hosts daily blood drives and operates 19 area donor centers to reach donors and meet local hospital needs. Blood donors can give every 56 days, and platelet donors can give twice per month. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently lifted several blood donor eligibility restrictions. To view current eligibility guidelines, visit or call 800.688.0900.

To make an appointment, donors can call 1-800-933-2566 or visit Can’t donate blood? You can still support NYBC’s mission by texting ‘NYBC’ to ‘20222’ to give $25.

About New York Blood Center Enterprises
Founded in 1964, New York Blood Center Enterprises (NYBCe) celebrates 60 Years of Extraordinary Lifesaving Research, Innovation and Impact. NYBCe is one of the largest nonprofit, independent, community blood centers in the world. Along with partner organizations Blood Bank of Delmarva (BBD), Community Blood Center of Kansas City (CBC), Connecticut Blood Center (CTBC), Memorial Blood Centers (MBC), Nebraska Community Blood Bank (NCBB), and Rhode Island Blood Center (RIBC), we collect approximately 4,000 units of blood products each day and serve communities approaching 50 million people in the tri-state area (NY, NJ, CT), mid-Atlantic area (PA, DE, MD), Kansas City metropolitan area, Minnesota, Nebraska, Rhode Island, and Southern New England. NYBCe delivers lifesaving blood products and services as well as clinical, medical, pharmaceutical, testing, and consultative services to over 600 hospitals and dozens of research organizations, academic institutions, and biomedical companies. Among other milestones, our Lindsley F. Kimball Research Institute pioneered the Hepatitis B vaccine and patented a solvent detergent plasma process, innovating blood-purification technology world-wide. For more information, visit Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter/X, Instagram, and LinkedIn.