October 25, 2016
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Hispanic Community Urged to Donate Blood

New York, NY  National Hispanic Heritage Month is September 15 through October 15, and New York Blood Center (NYBC) and its regions in Manhattan, Long Island, Hudson Valley, Brooklyn/Staten Island, and New Jersey call on the community to help us meet the great need for blood from diverse donors.


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.


Currently, NYBC donors are 71% White, 8.4% Hispanic/Latino, 6.8% Black/African American, and 4.6% Asian/Pacific Islander. Unfortunately, this does not mirror the diversity of our patient population.

Transfusions are made by blood type, not race, and hospitals receive blood marked by blood type (A, B, AB, O, A+, B+, AB+ O+, A-, B- AB- O-).  But for some patients who receive numerous transfusions over time, finding a blood match may become increasingly difficult as they begin to develop antibodies to more common blood.  This is where precise matching of antigens becomes important.  Matching blood for a patient with sickle cell disease by finding donors of similar ethnicity is a good example of this. 

National Sickle Cell Awareness Month, now through September 30, overlaps the onset of National Hispanic Heritage Month.  One in 500 African Americans and one in 1,400 Latinos are born with sickle cell disease.  Minority blood donors play a key role in the fight against this disease.

The goal of New YorkBloodCenter’s PreciseMatch® Program is to ensure diverse communities have access to the most precisely matched blood products whenever patients might need them.  The program has been helpful to Hispanic sickle cell patients including 4-year old Ivanna Mercado, and brothers Cesar and Ramon Cabrera.  Each month, Ivanna relies on blood donors to save her life.  Cesar and Ramon, who also require regular blood transfusions, are passionate about teaching the Hispanic and Latino communities about the importance of donating blood.

Please give blood today.  You can also help patients in need by organizing a blood drive in your community, house of worship, or place of work.  People can give blood every 56 days.



To donate blood, please call:

Toll Free:  1-800-933-2566

Visit:  www.nybloodcenter.org




Any company, community organization, place of worship, or individual may host a blood drive.  NYBC also offers special community service scholarships for students who organize community blood drives during the summer.  Blood donors receive free mini-medical exams on site including information about their temperature, pulse rate, blood pressure and hemoglobin level.  Eligible donors include those people at least age 16 (with parental permission or consent), who weigh a minimum of 110 pounds, are in good health and meet all Food & Drug Administration and NY or NJ State Department of Health donor criteria.  People over 75 may donate with a doctor’s note.


About New YorkBloodCenter:

New York BloodCenter (NYBC) is one of the nation's largest non-profit, community-based blood centers. NYBC has been providing blood, transfusion products and services to almost 200 hospitals, serving 20 million people, in greater New York since 1964.  NYBC is also home to the Lindsley F. Kimball Research Institute and the National Cord Blood Program at the Howard P. Milstein National Cord Blood Center, the world's largest public cord blood bank.  NYBC provides medical services and programs (Clinical, Transfusion, and Hemophilia Services) through our medical professionals and transfusion medicine physicians.




Contact:  Leslie Gonzalez


(212) 570-3304  Office

(646) 342-3038  Mobile

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