By Zachary Matson
Still looking for a New Year’s resolution? The American Red Cross has an idea: donate blood.
The Red Cross on Wednesday declared a severe shortage in blood donations and issued an emergency call for donors, citing nearly 100 canceled blood drives nationwide in December and a drop in donations over the holidays.
The organization, which supplies 40 percent of the nation’s blood used in transfusions, said it was distributing blood to hospitals faster than it was receiving donations. In November and December, the Red Cross received about 37,000 donations less than the amount that was needed.
The blood — which can be stored for anywhere from just a few days to a year, depending on what part of the blood is being kept — is used at 2,600 hospitals and transfusion sites nationwide to treat patients with a ride range of diseases and emergency needs.
The Red Cross said it needs to receive 14,000 blood and platelet donations every day to keep up with demand; a patient somewhere in the country needs blood every two seconds.
And January is National Blood Donor Month, “a perfect time to resolve to help save lives by giving blood,” according to the Red Cross.
“Blood and platelet donations are critically needed in the coming days so that patients can continue to receive the lifesaving treatments they are counting on,” said Sonja Ronovech, district manager of the New York-Penn Red Cross Blood Services Region.
As an added incentive, the Red Cross has teamed — for the 10th consecutive year — with Dunkin Donuts to provide $5 Dunkin’ Donuts gift cards to all those who give blood in January at Red Cross blood drives in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and in parts of New York, including Schenectady, according to a prepared statement.
January Blood Drives
Thursday — 1-7 p.m. at Niskayuna Fire Company, 2772 Troy-Schenectady Road.
Saturday — 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Church of the Immaculate Conception, 400 Saratoga Road.
Wednesday — 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Union College, 807 Union St.
Jan. 16 — 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Lowe’s Niskayuna, Mohawk commons, 422 Balltown Road.
Jan. 19 — 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Capital Living Nursing and Rehabilitation Centre, 526 Altamont Ave.
Jan. 20 — 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Bright Hope Center, 1856 State St.