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Winter Storms Bleeding Blood Banks Dry

Officials Urge Residents To Donate
A blood drive (credit: Tim Matsui/Getty Images)

A blood drive (credit: Tim Matsui/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Blood bank officials are asking for the public’s help after the nasty winter weather has taken a toll on donations.

The string of snowstorms in recent weeks has forced the cancellation of many blood drives and deterred potential donors from visiting centers.

Rob Purvis, vice president of the New York Blood Center, told WCBS 880′s Monica Miller the blood bank’s supply is dwindling to a dangerously low level, especially platelets.

“They only last five days, so getting people in to donate platelets at our donor centers is extremely important,” Purvis said.

Past donors across the region have been receiving urgent text message from the blood center urging them to give.

LINK: New York Blood Center

With another snowstorm projected to hit the area this weekend, the New York Blood Center is trying to send an adequate supply to area hospitals, Purvis said.

“We try to keep anywhere from a five- to seven-day inventory,” he said.

At a news conference Wednesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio also implored New Yorkers to give blood.

“We have a very serious situation on our hands where we need blood donations, and we need them quickly,” he said.

Purvis said nearly anyone 16 years of age or older and weighing at least 110 pounds can donate.

“There’s not a lot of things you can do that actually directly save somebody’s life,” he said.

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