Shelter Island residents might think that, with a reduced population during winter months, there’s not a strong need for a blood drive, but that’s not the case, according to organizer Judy Meringer, who oversees the town’s blood drive efforts.
Although the winter has been relatively quiet so far in terms of snow storms that often cripple people’s ability to get to centers where blood drives are held, it’s always wise to prepare by assuring blood in available for emergencies that could arise, according to a Long Island Blood Services release.
On Thursday, January 17, between 2 and 8 p.m., the town will hold a blood drive at the EMS Building at 12 Manwaring Road.
Each pint of blood can help as many as three patients.
The shelf life of donated red blood cells is 42 days while the shelf life of donated platelets is only five days, making it critical to assure drives are held frequently enough to assure a ready supply throughout the year.
Donors may give blood 56 days after their last blood donation.
Younger donors may be between the ages of 16 and 25, but those who are 16 must have parental permission. Adult donors don’t need clearance, except those 76 or older need a one-time doctor’s note certifying they may give blood.
The minimum weight for donor is 110 pounds and donors must not have gotten a tattoo during the past 12 months. Anyone who has had Lyme disease but been cured may give blood, but those who have had babesiosis may not donate blood.
Advice to donors is to eat well and drink fluids before contributing blood.
Bring an identification card with a photo or signature.
Donors will receive a coupon for a McDonald’s sandwich with any purchase and cookies and cold drinks will be available onsite after your donation is complete.
To schedule an appointment, call Judy Meringer at (631) 749-0291 or email [email protected] Walk-ins are welcome.