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Blizzard Hits Blood Supplies, Good Sam Currently Meeting Need

Supply of O-negative in the state falls below safety level after 1,000 scheduled blood donations were wiped out by storm, according to New York Blood Center.

The New York Blood Center (NYBC) is asking potential donors in Babylon to help replenish the region's blood supply after the blizzard hampered attendance at blood drives and wiped out 1,000 scheduled blood donations. 

Locally, Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center has been alerted to the blood emergency, but hospital spokesperson Colleen Valdini told Patch that Good Sam is currently able to meet the need for blood. 

Sue Lingenfelter, the business development manager with Long Island Blood Services, said 14 drives were canceled on the island between Saturday and Monday and donor centers were closed, which put the organization at a loss of 600 pints of blood.

She said the organization needs to collect enough blood throughout the New York City metropolitan area to supply a combined 800 pints of blood per day to area hospitals.

"When these storms happen and blood drives get canceled ... it almost immediately puts us in the negative," she said. "The next challenge is rescheduling the drives that got canceled."

The NYBC said in a release that a major concern in the state right now is the supply of O-negative blood, which can be transfused into anyone in an emergency situation, and platelets, which have a shelf life of just five days.

The weekend weather forced the cancellation of 300 platelet donor appointments and the supply of O-negative is below the safety level.

To donate blood or for information on how to organize a blood drive, call toll free- 1-800-933-2566 or visit www.nybloodcenter.org

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