College Collaborating with New York Blood Center to Address Emergency Blood Shortage, Aid Marrow Registry

MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. – SUNY Orange’s Office of Health Services, in conjunction with the New York Blood Center, will hold a blood drive and bone marrow registry awareness and recruitment event from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 4, in the Fireplace Lounge of the George F. Shepard Student Center in Middletown.

Just weeks ago, the Blood Center issued yet another emergency public appeal for donors because its blood supply remains at critically low levels. Ordinarily, a five- to seven-day supply is required, yet the Blood Center’s coffers remain below the five-day safety level, with some blood types having fallen below a two-day supply. To meet local needs, the center requires 2,000 donations per day. It is estimated that each donation saves up to three lives.

As the regional registry for the National Marrow Donor Program, the New York Blood Center is also actively recruiting individuals to sign up for its bone marrow registry. In particular, minority marrow donors are desperately needed. Potential bone marrow donors first enter the NMDP by doing a cheek swab that is used for HLA (human leukocyte antigen) testing. If a volunteer’s HLA type is a preliminary match for a patient, he or she is contacted for additional testing, a physical examination and counseling. If all is satisfactory and the donor still wants to donate bone marrow or blood stem cells, a donation procedure may be scheduled.

During the SUNY Orange blood drive, the New York Blood Center will also utilize its ALYX, a portable, automated blood component collection system that extracts only red cells from a donor’s blood while returning the platelets and plasma to the donor, along with a sterile saline solution. The ALYX process assures the donor no loss of fluid as a result of the procedure. Whole blood donors typically regenerate their lost fluid/blood in eight hours. An ALYX donation takes approximately 20-25 minutes and not all individuals are eligible to donate on the ALYX.

All donors at the SUNY Orange blood drive will be given a free t-shirt and may also partake in free cholesterol screenings. Appointments are preferred, but walk-ins will be accepted. Donors are encouraged to eat and drink prior to donating, and are required to provide proper identification (showing proof of age) and social security number.

More information on the ALYX, the bone marrow registry and the emergency blood shortage will be available on the day of the event. To schedule an appointment or to gather additional information, contact the SUNY Orange Office of Health Services at (845) 341-4870.


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Mike Albright
Communications Officer
115 South Street
Middletown, NY 10940